The Ghost of Christmas Future meets the Smallest Man in the World

So the smallest man in the world is driving along. He just hit a patch of ice so he’s taking it easy. The windows are fogged up a little, in the corners where the vents don’t get them, and encrusted with salt on the outside. As they pass the sugar refinery his daughter asks him what he’s chuckling about.

The look on my… hair stylist’s (he always has to pause to consider what they’re called nowadays) face were I to tell her to “make me look cool” when I go in for my haircut tonight, he says.

Oh, his daughter says.

Lose twenty pounds first, says the smallest man in the world. Then we can talk about trying to look cool. For a small guy, he could lose a lot of weight. And he is small. He’s under eight inches now.

He can barely see over the steering wheel.

He tries to remember if he just told his daughter how awesome she is, or if he only thought it.

He pats her on the leg and tells her, just to be on the safe side.

What is with these people who can recall every day of their life and every thing that ever happened to them? That would totally suck, even if you had a charmed life.

The smallest man in the world is more at the goldfish end of the memory spectrum, at least when he thinks about his life as a whole. But when he tries to recall certain things, he generally can in great detail. Like, he can’t remember, offhand, going to Greece with his family, or keep the individual trips they made there on vacation seperate. But he can remember the rat that jumped as high as his face when he cornered it with a blue push broom in their bungalow in the middle of the night while his wife and daughters danced on their bed, and the way it could navigate their holiday bungalow like an expert in the dark, but couldn’t find its way out the front door when he opened it.

Like that.

The smallest man in the world is meeting his wife for Christmas punch after his haircut.

When he thinks that, he is no longer driving, he’s all, where am I?

I am the Ghost of Christmas Future, says a voice.

The smallest man in the world observes that the Ghost of Christmas Future is totally fucking hot but doesn’t say anything.

I am here to show you the upcoming Christmas.

I’d rather be surprised, says the smallest man in the world. Just surprise me.

I have to show you something, says the Ghost of Christmas Future.

Show me tonight then, says the smallest man in the world.

Doink, something went, “doink” and they were watching the smallest man in the world’s wife standing at a punch stand, talking to one of her many friends who she happened to bump into while waiting for her husband to finish his haircut.

“She cut it pretty short,” she says when her husband arrives.

He shrugs.

She picks him up and he sits on a gold chain around her neck like a swing so he is more at eye level. He looks like gangsta bling.

What’re you having, she asks.

Something strong. Turbo punch if they have it, something along those lines, he says.

She tells him about her day, he tells her about his day.

They drink punch.

The smallest man in the world thinks about abundance and utopia. He is convinced the world is an abundant utopia that we just happen to be ruining because we are so stuck on how to get to heaven that we don’t notice we’re already there.

Except for one thing. In his utopia, the smallest man in the world would be the boss. And he’s not the boss here. But that’s just a personal thing. His personal utopia. In a real, general utopia, he could handle not being the boss, and this is actually pretty close. Especially with this punch, wow.

He stands close to his wife and puts his arm around her. He can do this and hang from a golden chain around her neck at the same time.

Then, doink, he’s back in his car with his daughter. Wow, I almost just missed the turn and took you to work with me today, he says.

People do that a lot, says his daughter.

Look at that asshat, he says. If he comes to a stop in the parking lot entrance to let his kid out and blocks me out here in the fucking street I’m fucking honking.

Don’t you dare, says his daughter.

He lets her out and stays there watching her until she’s safely across the street. Then he goes to work. Then he has lunch, then he goes home.

And so on. There, in his abundant utopia.

The smallest man in the world’s secret

The smallest man in the world thinks twenty inches is the watershed. There is life before twenty inches, and life after. He’s still more than twenty inches tall. Once he slips below that, he thinks, something profound will change.

He doesn’t know what.

This door he’s knocking on: one day he’ll be small enough to walk underneath the damned thing. He’ll still knock first, though. He won’t just barge right in.

Actually, if it had a cat door, he could fit through that now. Easily. Like walking through a garage door, almost.

But there is no cat door.

The smallest man in the world has a secret. It is one of the following things:

  • He has a tattoo of a tortoise on his arm. It shrinks with him. He is relieved about that, he had feared someday it would grow into a full-body tattoo.
  • The smallest man in the world seeks to emulate god. Aim high, is his motto.  God’s main quality, the smallest man in the world thinks, is that he leaves you the hell alone. The smallest man in the world tries hard to leave other people alone. He fails a lot, especially with his kids. And even when he succeeds, it is sometimes misinterpreted as neglect. Your most important job is to be you, he thinks, who am I to interfere with that?
  • The smallest man in the world would probably tailgate people if he had a sportscar.

The smallest man in the world takes out the garbage

Actually it’s the cat litter, but it goes in the garbage can so what else can you call it?

He’s only 22 inches tall now. He measured himself in the home office, where everyone marks on the wall how tall they are – the kids, visitors, maybe repairmen, what does he know.

22 inches.

He knocks at a door. Knocks and knocks. Maybe no one is home and he should go do something else. But maybe they’re home. Maybe they were just asleep and now they’re getting up to answer the door and if he gives up now it’s like he was a kid playing a prank, getting them up for nothing, so he keeps knocking.

Just a little while longer.

But now he’s taking out the garbage. A white plastic bag of cat litter. In his other hand he has a fifty Euro bill, because his wife needed money for the cleaning lady and he was going to give her the fifty but that’s too much and the cleaning lady can’t make change so he gave his wife two tens, and then another ten because she needed money for something else too.

And when he throws away the cat litter, he throws away the money, too.

It’s a big garbage can, he has to climb up a ladder to throw away the cat litter and money.

After he climbs back down he looks at his hands and pats his pockets and stuff, but he realizes what has happened. He looks back inside the garbage can and sees the money down there.

He tells his kid to get the money out for him, because he is too small.

I’m too small, too, his kid says. And besides, that garbage can is gross.

She’s right, it is.

I can lay it down and you can reach in and get the money.

If you lie it down, you can walk in and get the money, she points out.

Lay, lie, he says. I’m wearing a suit.

I just ironed my hair, she says.

How much will you give me if I do it, she says.

The smallest man in the world sighs. He is lost. Why do all the women in his family drive such hard bargains?

Still, he has to put up token resistance. How would you like to ride the bus to school instead of getting a ride like every day?

Here, help me lie down the garbage can, he says.

This is why you don’t put money in your mouth, he says.

Why would you want to put money in your mouth, she says.

More about the smallest man in the world

  • The smallest man in the world is twenty-seven inches tall and a little bit.
  • The smallest man in the world stands in the hallway outside his 13-year old daughter’s room. He knocks for a while. “Honey?” he says. “Honey?” Sometimes he pretends to be a cat and scratches the door, and meows. “Honey? Would you mind opening up for a minute? Honey?”
  • His record for standing at her door is forty years.
  • Time moves differently for the smallest man in the world than it used to.
  • Like everybody, I know.
  • The smallest man in the world has a unique theory of time travel.
  • Time travel was eventually developed, is his theory. And ever since, time travel inventors have spent all their time traveling around in time to prevent other inventors from inventing time travel, too, because everyone wants a monopoly on it. And even if they don’t want a monopoly, they have to travel in time anyway, fucking with history, just to keep others from keeping them from inventing it, and as a result all of history is basically one giant war among time travelers, which explains a great deal.
  • The smallest man in the world calls it his Red Queen theory of time travel. Copyright Mig Living 2010.
  • “Honey?” says the smallest man in the world.

The smallest man in the world

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.