(01-04) Blue Midget With a Dwarf Tattoo

"Lou?" She could have been a fairy princess so perfectly proportioned was she, standing in the doorway. The light behind her revealed the shape of her body through the pale yellow gown she wore. A Bomb had never seen any creature like her, nor even imagined one as he didn't have have anything inside him that viewed the scene from the outside, a director who gave him stage instructions. So he didn't know he was staring at her because he was not in the picture. She filled up the frame.

Lou understood A Bomb's being dumbfounded by Paris Short. She was his first cousin as well as an intimate experience. Neither of them felt any social prohibition against their love because they were little people, and somehow outside the usual taboos. What did anybody really know, or care? The very thought of midget sexuality was disturbing and so it was just left alone until it became a black screen of unknowing, on which the films of the little people within big people projected. In most people it was just another unconscious process, like digestion. The hidden projections on midget sexuality had no power as single entities, but en masse they blocked the sun like a vast flock of pigeons.

It is estimated that just one in a million people gets struck with midget sexuality and becomes aware of it. All of that unused energy comes flooding in from the darkness and the unfortunate dreamer suddenly gets possessed by a desire for midgets.

As evil goes unconscious in the many and becomes available to the few, whose power becomes unjustly magnified, so does midget lust fall asleep in the many and emerge as a mighty force in some unsuspecting lout without the ego sense to suppress something so inconvenient, and his or her sexual desire gets hard wired to midgets. A Bomb was the one in a million. When he looked at Paris Short he went away and gave all the space upon the stage to her perfect doll's body and wizened woman's face. He was as helpless as a bird who has caught the eye of a snake, and doesn't instantly look away and break the spell.

"Let me introduce you to my partner," Lou said. In the presence of Paris he lost his enjoyment of darkness and became well mannered. That was the way it looked from the outside. Lou was just following his laws of confidence, and not interfering with the flow of energy around him. If there was going to be the sound of violins in A Bomb's head then he'd play the French waiter. "Paris Short, may I present A Bomb?"

She gave him her miniature hand. He looked at it, astonished.

"A Bomb, my cousin, Paris Short. She's the manager of the club, so she'll be interviewing you for the position of security officer."

"As what?"

"The job I spoke to you about." His eyes got suddenly very large and then went back to normal so fast it seemed like an illusion.

"You're willing to be a reference for him?" Paris asked, seeming not to notice that her hand was lingering in the giant's paw. Fascination can move either direction, or both ways at once. Paris was picturing Fey Wrey and King Kong, though she didn't think about it, and so didn't remember it. Her hand remembered, though, even after it had broken the pleasant current that still flowed up her arm and spread through her body. The eyes are the exposed portion of the brain; they can look at something and want it, but can't find a way to possess it without the complicity of desire.

"He's my partner, Paris. I trust him with my life."

"Come to my office and let's have a talk," Paris said. "This door is a normal door, so you can walk through to the kitchen. But if you want to come on to the inside, to the Midget Underground, you'll have to get down on your knees and crawl through on all fours. I hope you don't mind."

"It suits me," A Bomb said. "I'll follow you wherever you say to."

Paris smiled. She was receiving the projections of beauty and all she had to do was make space for them and they rushed through her with a surprising force. It was like riding a tiger, she thought. "How very understanding of you," she said. She turned and walked through the lobby to the four foot door. She walked right through. He got down on all fours, as was necessary for an Indian Shadow, and put his head into the Midget Underground. "Don't block the door," Lou said from behind him. And he shifted his weight forward into the secret life of little people.

"First of all," Paris told him when she had closed the door, "you shouldn't call little people 'midgets.' Some of them find it offensive. On the other hand people like me, and my cousin, find being called little people nauseating, and like being called midgets. It's all very confusing. I'm the author of "Blue Midget with a Dwarf Tattoo." I don't know if you read it. It's part of a series of erotica I'm doing."

A Bomb asked, "Did I get the job yet?" He didn't even know what erotica was.

Paris crossed her legs, aware of the perfection of her proportions. The thing was, she was an exhibitionist by nature, and was excited by the big Indian’s fascination with her. "You have it on a trial basis," she said, "if you can get along with the little people and take care of the door without hurting anybody unless it's absolutely necessary. Can you remember what I just said, A Bomb? Are you paying attention?"

"On a trial basis," he said. "If I get along with little people."

"That's right, if you get along with the little people who come here. If you call them little people you'll be pretty safe, because the one's who don't like it won't hold it against you, but they'll tell you what they like being called. Some of them call themselves dwarves and some of them call themselves midgets and some even call themselves leprechauns because they're Irish and have the gift of the Irish tongue. Can you remember which ones are which?"

"I'll just make it a part of their name," A Bomb said. "Like, you're Paris the Midget, and Cowboy Jesus is Lou the Midget."

There was a long silence while Paris tried to put together her cousin Louis with the name Cowboy Jesus. She was sure Louis didn't think of himself as a religious person. He'd been one of the most feared trigger men in the country. She decided not to ask, to just file it for now. "That's a good idea," she said. "Make it part of the name and remember all of it together. You don't mind working for a female midget?"

"No," A Bomb said.

"You probably should go on back out front now to keep an eye on the door."

A Bomb, the Indian Shadow, had come into this place on all fours, like a dog, because the entrance was so low to the ground. But now that he was inside he already had a job, and he was in love with a woman just like Tinker Bell, except that she probably couldn't fly. Her shoes made a surprising noise when she walked, like she was playing music on the floor with her feet.

It didn't occur to A Bomb that he was changing, was starting to remember, because she was there in his mind, now, like a stash of gold. He started to go there more often to make withdrawals, peering into a gilded cage where a perfect miniature woman was behaving as if she was alone, even though he was there, watching her. It was there in his memory, but he didn't believe it could be true, and so he believed he imagined it.

This was the beginning of imagination in A Bomb. Everything that couldn't possibly be real had to live in exile, with Luke Skywalker and the Rebels, on the river with Huck and Jim, in prison with Andy Dufresne at Shawshank.

Nice men and women in expensive suits told calming stories from the face of the television. "Don't worry," they said.

"Security at the door, please." The call came across the headset she'd given him to wear. When he got to the gate A big woman was trying to squeeze through into the Midget Underground. She had a hideous smile fixed on her face and was speaking in a high pitched voice about how cute the little people are.

"You can't come in here," A-Bomb said.

She didn't seem to hear him. She kept talking about how cute little men are, and how she just wanted to check something, though she was vague about what it was. A Bomb moved in closer. "You can't come in here," he said. "This is the second time I've told you. I won't tell you again. I'll roll you back down the hill."

"I never heard such rudeness from a little person," the woman said, finally admitting that he was in her way, and she couldn't get through him. "I'm surprised and frankly a little bit disappointed that they would allow somebody of your -- size -- into their underground."

"They don't," A Bomb said. "I work here. It's the only way you can get in is to get a job here. I got a job and you don't. You have to leave now, because when you're in the door like that, it's a fire hazard. Nobody can get out if there's a fire." It took him another five minutes to talk her back out of the doorway, but he was patient with her and ended up walking with her back down to the street.

When he went back through the small doorway leading to the club, he faced the inside of a secret world. There was a stage opposite the door where a four piece band was playing a smooth fusion sound. A dwarf with long hair and tattooed biceps was drumming. Another dwarf was blowing a saxaphone and another was playing keyboards. At the microphone, Paris was crooning:

"Big man, with all your big plans,
where did you lead me to?
Big man, with all your big plans,
what is a little girl to do?"

A Bomb looked around and realized most all the men in the place had a thing for Paris Short. "But," he told himself, "She's singing to the big man, and that's gotta be me."

He had to refuse entry to seven more people before the party broke up in the small hours of morning, and little people moved out in couples and small groups to blend back into the city.

"So you got a real job now," Louis said. "You happy?"

"I've never been so happy," A Bomb admitted.

"Yea. You can't take your eyes off my cousin. What are you thinking about anyway?"

A Bomb looked confused. "What? I was thinking how perfect she is."

"Yea," Louis said, "that's what I was worried about. When you're seeing something perfect, A Bomb, you can bet your ass you ain't looking at anything human. Perfect love is that little alien in the movie that got in the man's stomach and ate its way right on out again. Another name for it is obsessive compulsive disorder."

"I can't help it," A Bomb said. "She's still perfect."

"It's you doing it."

"That's not possible."

"Okay, find out for yourself, chump. Paris is letting us stay upstairs in the empty apartment, but she's gonna be right next door. We have a robbery to plan, and somebody in love like you, they're not reliable. So you take my word for this, no, you take the word of Cowboy Jesus." He felt himself hit the control button as A Bomb cringed slightly, like his shock collar had gone off. Louis didn't show any reaction, just went on as smoothly as a high end lawyer, "Cowboy Jesus wants you to forget about Paris when she's not there in front of your face."

"How about when she is there in front of my face?"

"Then it's not up to you anymore. I know about that, A Bomb. I know all about that. Not thinking about her when she's not there is the best you can do. That's just Paris. Watch your head going up the stairs.

The Midget Underground was empty, now, and the only illumination was from strings of tiny white decorative lights that outlined the stage, the bar, and created a walkway on the floor like runway lights on an airstrip leading to a black curtain. Louis swept the curtain aside and the lit pathway continued up a flight of dark wooden stairs. At the top there was electric light against pale gold wallpaper and the sound of Paris playing the piano and singing.

"Is she in our apartment?" A Bomb asked, with reborn hope.

"Our apartment's on the left side. Hers is on the right." They arrived at the top of the stairs. There was a foyer, and the door on the right was open. They stood still and listened for a few moments.

"When the sky is cloudy rain may come,
sunshine will make it go away. Some day
maybe the sun may find us being friends,
easy way to see you again,
easy way to remember the rainy days ..."

"Listen," A Bomb whispered.

"Yea, I know," Louis growled softly.

"No," A Bomb whispered. He pointed up. "Rain."

Louis was quiet. Behind the song there was a soft whispering sound of rain against the windows. "Good thing we found a place to get in out of the weather," he said. "She left the door open for me."

"How do you know it was for you?"

"Because I'm Cowboy Jesus."

A Bomb thought about it a minute. "That's right," he said. "You go ahead."

He turned away from the sound of her voice and opened the door on the left. He closed it behind him, so he could practice what Cowboy Jesus wanted him to do. The moment the door closed and he was alone, Paris didn't exist anymore.

A Bomb was not only remembering, he was learning to compartmentalize, so he could deal with one thing at a time. Right now there was nothing in front of him except a hot shower and a shave and a night's sleep. He didn't even pay attention to the shrieks and following laughter that occasionally made it through the walls separating the two apartments. But as soon as he fell asleep his resolve relaxed, and Paris was dancing all by herself, knowing he was watching.

"I need you for a horse," she said.

A Bomb's eyes came open and he knew he'd been dreaming. Sunlight was making the room glow with a rainy morning translucence. He could hear Louis snoring in the other room. He closed his eyes and tried to remember what he was dreaming, but all he could remember was "I need you for a horse." He imagined her sitting on his shoulders and riding him around the city. Then he remembered that he wasn't supposed to think about her if she wasn't there, in front of his face, and instantly shifted his attention to the room he was in.

It was just wide enough for the twin bed and dresser set beside it. There were two chairs at the end of the bed. slightly upgraded folding chairs, and there was a mirror on the wall for dressing. A single window looked out across the bay toward Alcatraz. He tried to remember where he started out from, and how he got here, but he could not. He had come unattached, and now he was attached again. What wasn't in front of his face didn't exist. What was in front of his face was the book on top of the dresser. He picked it up and his mouth moved as he sounded out the words, "Blue Midget with a Dwarf Tattoo."

He opened it to the first page. Reading was a slow process, but he knew that if he did it more he'd get faster. He concentrated on the dedication message at the entrance and whispered:

"Dedicated to the troll in me."

Posted: Thu - February 7, 2008 at 07:24 PM