Sunday, December 14, 2014


Mickey moved in on the ground floor apartment next to the variety store one summer. He sat in his wheelchair in the middle of the sidewalk. He'd keep his apartment door wide open and blast Marvin Gaye. "Just tell me if it bothers you," he'd say when I'd walk by with Lily. She usually jumped into his lap. On most days he would take off his white plastic prosthetic legs and place them standing upright on the curb like firemen's boots. They were covered with bright stickers advertising rock bands and radio stations. He would wear shorts. "I used to be a waiter" he told me one day, "but I lost my legs to diabetes." He would give the neighborhood children red licorice, tootsie rolls, and lollipops but he ended up scaring them. Then the kids' parents would accuse him of luring their children inside his cave and they would get into big screaming matches with him in the street. Everyone was relieved when he moved away.