Stupid bastard never saw it coming.
Simply did as he did every evening: paused at the top of the stairs to grab the handrail and get his bearings.
Told me once that he used to have severe fear of heights, but this set of stairs helped cure him of that. No, he had said, not cure. Not really. Not fully. Because there was still the trepidation he felt at the top of those stairs.
That’s right, he used the word “trepidation.” Moron tried to impress me with words like that. Make him seem all sophisticated. As if he were more than a merchant. As if he really deserved more out of life, perhaps some cushy city job where he simply had to wave his hand and the staff of his department would leap into action.
But no. That hadn’t happened. And he made it seem that forces completely out of his control had acted against him, where he landed as a merchant instead of that cushy job.
Don’t make me laugh. His bullshit like “trepidation” couldn’t fool me.
Nor when he said he used those steep stairs because he didn’t want to navigate the long way around to home and add ten minutes to his walk.
Yeah, you heard right. He actually used the word “navigate.” Blustery bastard. All he had to say was he walked. But no, he had to puff it up.
Never could square with the fact that he was just one of us. A merchant. Might as well square with your lot in life.
Too late for him, though. With him tumbling, tumbling down his precious shortcut that helped him deal with his severe fear of heights.
Should’ve listened more to that trepidation. Maybe it would’ve signaled my hands on your back shoving you as hard as I could.
And now, I’ll get his customers. Expand my lot in life a little bit.
The photo above is used under the non-commercial Creative Commons license. Click on image to jump to photographer’s Flickr page.