Saturday, May 29

I wake up. It's about 9AM or so. I sit up and realize that there's someone in my room.

"Hello, Henry," says the man in the red and white striped shirt. Hands full of balloon strings, he's standing by my door staring intently at me.

"It's the Midnight Mailman," I tell him. "What are you doing in my room." I stay in bed. I'm only wearing the cape and goggles.

"I never did like that, the Midnight Mailman. What the hell does it even mean? Nothing. It means nothing. And it doesn't even flow nice. The Midnight Mailman. The Midnight Mailman."

I don't understand what's going on at all here. "So, why are you in my room? To make fun of my name?"

"Your name is Henry. That's a fine name. I had a brother named Henry. The Midnight Mailman is your pseudonym, your nick name, your alter ego. It's stupid."

"So... you're here to make fun of my pseudonym?"

"Sure. And to give you this balloon. This balloon of destiny." He picks out a large blue helium balloon, a perfect pear shaped balloon on a string. "I'll just tie it to this chair here." And he ties it to the wooden chair next to the window.

"Thanks." He's just standing there and I don't know what to say next. "Do I owe you anything for that?"

"No. That's a balloon of destiny, Henry. Enjoy" And he walks out of my room, leaving the door open.

Mr. Happy Puppet Head bobbles past and stops when he sees the balloon. "Hey, man. Nice balloon."

"Yeah. Did you let that balloon guy in the house?"

"I didn't let anyone in."

"Did you see him walk past just now?"

"Wait, are you talking about THE balloon guy? Is that a balloon of destiny?"

"What? You know him?"

"Wow, a balloon of destiny... you're one lucky guy. Or unlucky, you know, whatever the balloon wants. You better be real nice to it. I knew this one chick who got one, and she just left it in her closet and never took it out for ice cream or walks or anything, and she got all fat. I think she got one of those goiters, too. Nasty."

I'd like to get up and inspect my new balloon, but I'm still not wearing anything under these sheets. But this is exciting, a balloon of destiny. Wow. "Hey, Mr. Happy Puppet Head, could you excuse me a second?"

"What?"

"I need to get dressed."

"You sleep naked?"

"No, I'm wearing a cape."

"Yeah, but if you let your junk all hang out that counts as naked."

I give him the look, the one that says get out please. And he does. I put on some pants and untie the balloon from the chair. It's all shiny and smooth. Wow. I get a spark of static electricity, it hurts, but I know my life is going to be different. Different in one of those really great sort of ways. Like not getting all fat with a goiter kind of way.

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