Since David Emami was a substitute school janitor, he occasionally had to pretend to be social. David liked his solitude and prefered to not talk to people, but sometimes, there was no way around it. Sometimes, he just had to talk with people.
One day, while substituting at an elementary school in Tualatin, a town near Portland, Oregon, David was mopping up vomit in the hallway while listening to his cassette tape player and humming the beat to “I’ve Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher. David was in his own little world until some little kid interrupted his groove.
David felt a tug on his Care Bears shirt, then looked down to find a short boy with curly blonde hair, thick glasses that sat perched on the tip of his nose, clothing that was not properly fitted, and a large, green booger that went in and out of his nose with each breath. “Hi, I’m Dillon,” said the little boy.
David couldn’t hear him over Sonny and Cher, so he pressed stop and and said, “What did you say?”
“Hi, I’m Dillon,” said the little boy.
“Good for you, now please leave me alone so I can continue working. Unlike you, I’m actually employed and contributing to the world.” David pressed play and belted out the line, “When I’m sad, you’re a clown, and if I get scared you’re always around.” Suddenly, the little boy tugged again at David’s shirt. Annoyed, David pressed stop again and said, “What on earth do you want, tiny human?”
“I like your shirt,” he said with a smile on his face.
“You should really blow your nose. It’s disgusting.”
Dillon wiped his nose on his sleeve, leaving a slimy trail behind.
“Good heavens! Were you raised by wolves?” David pulled out a wet rag and cleaned the boy’s sleeve as well as he could.
“Thank you, Mister.”
“My name’s David,” he replied rather annoyed.
“I like your name.”
David couldn’t fight the boy’s charm any longer. “Well, thank you. And thank you for noticing my shirt. It’s my favorite. Well, it’s my second favorite actually. My favorite would be my Betty Boop shirt that I got while in Indiana in 1979.”
The little boy just stared at David, then said, “I gotta go now. Bye.”
“Have a lovely day,” replied David. David smiled as the tiny human walked away.
David Emami is Alone in Portland is a collection of stories that peer into the life of a middle-aged curmudgeon with a fondness for cats and antiques.
Playfully illustrated with Bitmoji characters, his story comes to life as each day brings a new adventure.
He was obsessive compulsive and mad about antiques. The apartment was covered, top to bottom, in decor that would be more aligned with that of an old woman that peaked in the 1960s. david-emami-takes-on-portland.html
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