On one side of the ocean there was a man in a top hat. He wore the top hat with pride. His rounded face stuck out strangely from his suit. Old faded pants, forgotten beneath a flashy overcoat and a skulky smile, followed his legs down to the most peculiarly red shoes. The shoes resembled somewhat of those Dorothy wore in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and anyone looking the man up and down would wonder why he wasn’t clicking his heels together. The overcoat was rather large and ancient and had many pockets hidden in its interior. The overcoat quite liked its maze-like interior and prided itself in its pockets. It especially liked the two on the outside where the man in the top hat kept his hands warm and dry. In the exterior pocket on the right side of the jacket, the man carried a wristwatch, a slice of mint flavored chewing gum and a coin. The wristwatch was not to be worn around the man’s wrist as its name suggested. It had far to much value and knowledge to be exposed in that sort of manor. Each of the pocket dwellers resolved some sort of emotional gratification to the man and he kept them close, fingering them as often as he could manage and spending the rest of the time tipping his hat to the seagulls that mulled and squawked about the shoreline. The top hat had been tipped a total of ninety three times so far that day. The chewing gum, wristwatch, and coin were being suffocated by the man’s hand. Passers by thought very little of the sight.
The man had been standing at the Pier for quite sometime. He watched the waves roll in and out making a soft crash as they hit the rocks. The seagulls landed on the tops that poked from the water while the waves receded and were sent off in a disgruntling flight as the waves returned. The man continued to tip his hat. The ocean air that morning was especially salty. The sun had not yet shone face and the docks seemed eternally wet, not from the ocean water, but rather from the dew that had not yet dried its way out of the night. The only thing that was missing from the strange scene was the small dog that made rounds about the piers. The dog, a young, unwashed, tangled mess of a terrier mutt, befriended all the local traffic and enjoyed barking relentlessly at the man in the top hat. Perhaps the quiet that filled the pier that morning was unusual and eerie and only noticeable to those who understood the terrier. The wristwatch, the chewing gum, and the coin, though quite feverish from the man’s hand, were pleased with the unusual quietness on the foggy morning with the dew still laden and the waves rolling in, it was perfectly wonderful to rest a while and to take a nap.
Not a soul could figure out what had become of the terrier, nor why it had chosen this particular day, of all days, to disappear into obscurity. Where obscurity was, is another matter entirely, and though no man had ever ventured to figure out where obscurity really is (for there could be many disappeared movie stars and writers there), each was sure it existed. The wristwatch knew where obscurity was, but was not about to reveal that to either the chewing gum or the coin, and certainly not to the man in the top hat. Instead, the wristwatch ticked patiently as the coin and the chewing gum drifted into a deep slumber within the man’s hand. Once it had been determined that both were fast asleep and not about to disturb anyone, the wristwatch ceased ticking and drifted off into its own slumber. The man in the top hat knew nothing and continued to cling to the three tightly.
On the other side of the ocean there was a lighthouse that was missing a window.