(originally published in The Beat)
One evening, Eyevee was aware of the little man moving about inside of him. He was standing on the roof of the building late at night, the stars shining bright, a few candles on the roof lit, a strangely large number of white birds flying about. “The little man flew up out of the pea-patch in the backyard, and into my soul last night,” Eyevee said. The little man was wearing a dark raincoat, similar to that of a 1940’s war correspondent, with a wide-brimmed hat, looking like a small, scuttling spy. There were extensive patches of ivy growing on the little man’s coat. Miniscule birds flew around the little man’s ankles. The little man was the life force within Eyevee.
Two days later, Eyevee was incensed. He had dishes piling up in the kitchen, due to his being distracted by the multi-colored ivy growing in the backyard. Ivy was also growing out of the sink, starting to cover the dishes, much to his frustration. When Eyevee would get angry, the little man in the raincoat would be inside Eyevee’s head, pounding at Eyevee’s inner temples with a hot molten hammer, and Eyevee couldn’t always control it. He tried to use his rational capacities, which were little sleeping snipers sitting behind small windowpanes lining the inside of Eyevee’s head, waking up to take quick shots at the man in the raincoat. The little snipers wore tight maroon jump suits, and they all had different colored masks, though most were powder-blue. At times they’d miss, at times they’d hit. Eyevee calmed down enough to schedule an appointment later that day with his optometrist Ignatz Volkman, to have his vision examined. He was seeing strands of ivy growing out of an increasing number of everyday objects.
At Dr. Volkman’s office in the hospital, Eyevee was asked to undergo vision tests, which were going well as he correctly identified the letters on each line, until he reached the fourth line. Eyevee’s mind connected to the Roman numerals IV as he eyed the V on the line, unable to identify it. He only saw strands of ivy growing out of that location on the vision chart. The optometrist, Ignatz Volkman, had him wheeled down the hall of the hospital to a room, where Eyevee would hopefully be connected to an I.V., as he was showing signs of dehydration. The receptionist had offered Eyevee a pleasant little paper cup of water from Dr. Volkman’s office water cooler located near the potted plant, but Eyevee had declined, much to his regret now.
The ivy on the little man’s raincoat in Eyevee’s vision started to turn brown as the attendants looked for a spare I.V. While Eyevee began to spasmodically repeat “I’ve... I’ve... I’ve... ” an I.V. was found and attached to his arm. As the I.V. began to re-hydrate Eyevee, the ivy on the little man’s raincoat became greener, and its vines grew rapidly, soon enveloping the little man inside Eyevee in a tangle of long, thin green stems. Within 10 minutes, the little man had disappeared in the vines, never to be heard from again. When Eyevee left the hospital and returned to his house, the dishes were still piled up in the kitchen. But as he started to spray the dishwashing liquid, the ivy grew quickly out of the sink, completely covering the dishes, Eyevee, and the kitchen, drawing them all into a new reality.