The smallest man in the world is twenty-nine inches and a little bit.
The smallest man in the world wasn’t always the smallest man in the world. He woke up one morning and suddenly was, because the other smallest man in the world passed away.
Also the smallest man in the world wasn’t always small. He was a normal kid. He was six feet tall, once, as an adult. But then, one day, he woke up noticeably smaller.
Perceptibly smaller, as opposed to imperceptibly smaller. He woke up about a percent smaller. If you’re six feet tall, that’s over half an inch. He woke up five eleven and almost a half. Still an okay height, you think, but enough of a difference to feel it.
The next day, another percent. He was only five eleven, or just under.
The doctors told him he had retrograde enhancement syndrome. He said it sounded like a spam header. The smallest man in the world said, why don’t they just call it “shrinking”?
The specialists said, because “shrinking” isn’t in the book, so the insurance companies don’t cover it. But RES is in the book. Count your blessings.
What was happening was, everything dissolved while he slept, bones and stuff, and then gelled again before he woke up. It was an entropic process, so a little was lost each time. About one percent. Not sleeping didn’t help, either, he tried that. The only difference was he was tired and shrinking.
And now here he was, in specially tailored clothes, twenty nine inches and a little, walking down the street. Otherwise he looked about the same. A little flatter. Kind of pale. Black hair. Sometimes he thought, put on red lipstick and he’d look like Robert Blake in that David Lynch movie.
It was a beautiful fall day. The leaves were golden, there were no dogs or leaf blowers. Just sunshine and blue sky.
Sunshine and blue sky.
The smallest man in the world was also going deaf. He was trying to learn a Marcello sonata for cello before he went deaf or got too small to play the miniature cello he played.
It was kind of a race.
The smallest man in the world figured everyone was in a race of one kind or another.
But at that moment, he was digging the golden leaves, and the blue sky.