Story : His Name Is Red (Part 1)
In truth, this is an almost forgotten story. But it is funny how later on in life, a certain someone can remind you of another you met years ago. Perhaps it is the similarity in their stories. It convinces me that I need to tell the tale of this shadowy figure from my past.
After all, every story need its own chapter in the grand book of life. And, every story need an attentive reader to give the telling of it justice.
Every story need to be told, because that is what stories are for.
This is the story of the pariah, and his name was Red.
I once knew of a man, and everyone called him Red. On a good day (I still do not know what determine a good day where this matter is concerned), people called him Old Man Red.
I remember asking once from my mother if that was his real name. My mother said that for as long as she had stayed in our little town of Oak Tree, that was what everyone called him.
Obviously, he would have his real name permanently inked on his birth certificate, but since no one had ever seen that particular paper, then everyone just called him Red, and that name stuck.
For as long as I knew of him, Old Man Red had always remained the same. He was seemingly ageless, but had the appearances of an elderly man. I believed he was old though, probably in his sixties.
Aesthetically, his appearance was a source of many intriguing and somewhat fearful tales. Tall, reed-thin, his face gaunt and weather beaten, with big hawkish nose, hair scraggly and streaked with grey, his arms long and spindly thin like a scarecrow’s, his bushy eyebrows perpetually drawn over in a frown and dark stormy eyes which glared at the world, his clothes worn and showed signs of repeated mending.
In a way, now when I think about it, he reminds me of the actor Keith Richards, during his “Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Movies” days.
Altogether, Old Man Red was an intimidating figure of a man which stroke wary trepidation in many a people, young and old, of both genders, whenever they saw him.
“Creepy!” was the unkind opinion of many others.
“Scary!” were the cries of the general population.
Still, the more kindly inclined would shake their heads in mild rebuke of the whisperers, while murmuring in uneasy misgivings and nodded in guilty agreement.
It probably didn’t help Old Man Red’s cause that he had always worn on his head a raggedy-edged big straw-hat which cast a foreboding shadow over his eyes and upper face, making him looked all the more ominous.