The Cartoon Man
(A short story )
by Lily Swarn
The super brain of the balding man was going tick tick in overdrive mode .A gigantic caricature of long nosed politicians waved from high above his head .He was the reigning king of comic strips in the popular national newspaper .A huge noisy burp escaped his overfed mouth as he made a wry face and busied himself with the onerous task of sharpening his sketching pencils .Bawdy jokes reverberated in his fevered brain as he decided on the next day’s plans for insulting the roguish assembly of power crazed humans ..The Chicago skyline was dark and frosty .The twinkling lights of the skyscrapers hypnotized him.His breath froze on window panes along with the piles of snow on his driveway.He turned up the heating and stretched his arms weary with constant tap tapping on the lap top .
“I think I will eat a bite “, he mumbled to himself . Approaching the microwave,he heated a bowl of lumpish ,mangled eggs ,looking decidedly unnerved at their wan coloring.Cooking was his Waterloo .Not all his smart quips could make him a decent meal .Perhaps the mean streak that made his razor sharp intellect cutting edge was the reason for his lonely existence as well.He trampled all over people ,like a tank in heat .The wife and girls walked out on him one by one ,unable to bear his self gloating and vicious nature .
The beep of the washing machine startled him as he balanced his portly figure on one foot .The dollars bursting out from his cupboards never ceased to astonish him .He simply could not understand why he lacked friends despite his enormous wealth.Perhaps it was his body odour?No,no ,it must be the yellow stained teeth,the result of constant tobacco chewing ,a habit he had picked up in India .He wished he was in his village ,sitting under the sprawling banyan tree with its fat trunk.The scratching on that tree trunk that immortalized his love for the washer woman’s comely teenage daughter came rushing back to his eyes as tears welled up in their corners .The sounds of the cow bells dangling in the necks of the dark glistening buffaloes resounded in his ears .The smoke spiraling out from the cobblers grimy hovel blinded him for a moment in his imagination .The yearning for the mother land hit him like a blow in his stomach .The tickets must be booked immediately, he thought. How he missed the sight of the sari clad ladies, their bosoms heaving seductively beneath the soft cotton of their vibrant saris .The ladies he saw here were attired uniformly in jackets ,scarves and long boots .One fat tear rolled down his unshaven ,grey shadowed cheek.He picked up the phone and froze mid air.The clot from his leg had apparently travelled up sneakily and lodged in his brilliant brain . God giggled uncontrollably at the sight .It was a better drawing than any of the cartoons he had ever drawn !!
Copyright Lily Swarn 11.1.2017