Margarine Man

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

As we were moving into our new place, a taxi driver slowed down and beckoned to us. He rolled down his window and looked around, as if he was nervous of being overheard.

“One of your neighbours has a glass eye."

He never specified who, and to this day the encounter haunts me; I’m certain that it was an omen. It’s been nearly two years we moved here, and I think I’ve narrowed it down to Margarine Man.

The man across the street is either in his 30s, or in his 60s; it’s impossible to tell. I call him Margarine Man, because I had a vision of him sitting in front of his TV, eating margarine by scooping it right out of the tub with his hands like Winnie-the-Pooh. Brad disagrees and claims that we call him that because one day he was carrying groceries, and the bag ripped to reveal nothing but tubs upon tubs of margarine he bought from Dollarama. I think on some level, we are both right.

Sometimes Margarine Man will run out of his house, terrified of some unseen force inside, and start throwing rocks and hitting the building angrily with a hammer. He walks with a pronounced limp, as if his leg was broken once, but he never bothered to get it fixed. I think he must keep himself in a constant altered state, probably because of the pain. He tends to really overdo it, and he’s a bit of a rapscallion.

His house is really the centre of activity, a hotspot for some local ne’er do wells. One night, I saw a man jump out of the window and run down the street carrying a tuba. People come wandering by, bearing all sorts of scrap and garbage, bartering for some mind-altering tonic or other.

But that’s only the view from the front window; at the back of the house, where my little office is, I have my little garden and bird feeder, and I can hear the wind chimes as the breeze dances through the trees.

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