LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP...by b. Malin
I'm a stairs person, so at the Condo we are renting, not to be confused with the "Condo with the View", I always take the stairs, except on "Shopping Day". The other day, I'm running, (scratch that) I'm Walking, Briskly up the stairs to our 3rd floor unit, when I hear ever so faintly, "Help, Help". As I reach the top stairs I look down to see a little creature, called a "Newt" staring up at me. Now before I begin his tale (pardon, the pun). I shall describe what this "Newt" looked like. Or better yet, study his picture for a moment...this particular Newt was about 5 inches long, and is capable of turning from green to brown to blend in with the surroundings for protection...And so this story begins.
"OMG, I almost stepped on you" I say aloud. "Yes, yes, you almost did"! came the reply back. "You can Talk"? I say, sounding more surprised then I had intended to. "Yes, he sighs, I can". Then we are both silent, as we Eye one another. I clear my throat and ask, "Was that you calling for help"? "Yes" he replies, as he sighs deeply, that was me". "What can I do to help you"? I ask as I stoop down on one knee to his level. Once again we both stare silently.
"Oh where are my manners" I say trying for cheerful, "My name is b. Malin". He replies back, my name is "Ralph". "Ralph, I say, that's a funny name for a Newt". "Really, he answers dryly, like b. Malin isn't Funny...what's a b. Malin"? "Ok, ok, touche I say, how about just calling me b. and I'll call you Ralph"? "That would be nice since it is my name" he answers smugly...and fine, I'll call you b".
Suddenly there is someone coming up the stairs and Ralph goes from green to brown in color. "Oh don't be alarmed I say softly, that's my husband, Lover Man, who has just parked the car, and is on is way up the stairs. "Are you sure b"? "I'm sure Ralph, and here he is now". I gently stop Lover Man, before he too almost steps on poor Ralph. "Honey, meet Ralph", I say pointing down to my little friend. Lover Man looks startled as Ralph says "Hump! I'm not calling him by that name, Lover Man indeed"!
Lover Man bends down and softly says, "Hi, Ralph, you can call me Stephan". Once again, Ralph is quiet as he studies my husband's face". "Hey Ralph, Lover Man says, may I take your picture. I just have to go inside and get my Camera". "Sure Ralph replies, I'm not going anywhere". Exit, Lover Man. "Do you want me to pose"? Ralph asks when Lover Man comes back out with his Camera. "Nah, just be yourself". Picture has now been taken, and it was now time for Ralph to talk.
"See that tree over near the corner of your Condo"? Lover Man and I both nodded. "Well, Ralph went on, I was trying to impress my "Lady friend" Donna. I told her I was going to climb the tree and jump from that branch, he said pointing to a large one, onto your 3rd floor. Well I did it alright, but now I can't jump back onto the tree, it's too far... and I can't get down to the ground level, because the stairs are too High"! And...to make matters worse, "Big Al" is probably making a play for Donna...He's probably asking her out to Dinner...I'm going to lose her unless you can help me get down"! Ralph finished his last sentence, and goes over to the edge and looks down.
"Oh Ralph you're not thinking of Jumping" I said sounding alarmed. "Are you Crazy b.? I maybe nuts about Donna, but no I won't Jump...I just need a way down" he said sounding sad. "We could take you down on a Plate"! I replied excitedly...You know, a small plate". "Sweet b. how would that look, I'd be the laughing stock of the "Newt Community", Donna would Never go out with me again after that...Listen folks, I don't mean to be rude, but this is my problem and I need more time Alone to think about it". "Ok, I said, we understand, but please Ralph, if you need us, just knock on the door...or just call my name, and I'll be there"..."Whoa, b. what are you one of the "Supremes". "You're so Funny Ralph" I say smiling as we exit the scene.
We had our Dinner, and kept listening for Ralph's knock, but it never came. We cleaned up the dishes and then decided to take our nightly walk. We carefully open the front door and walked over to the stairs where Ralph is sitting. "Listen Ralph, Lover Man said, I've got an idea". "Whisper it in my ear", is Ralph's reply. And so Lover Man bends down and whispered his idea into Ralph's ear, and then we wait. After a few moments, Ralph smiles and replies, "that just might work". Then I watched in Amazement as Ralph climbs onto Lover Man's shoulders, he is a Beautiful, Confident, shade of Green. "You comfortable little partner"?, Lover Man asked. "Fine, my good friend, Ralph replies. Lover Man turns to me, "Coming my Lady"? "Oh yes, yes, I reply as the three of us descend silently down the stairs...and my heart swells with pride for my guy.
When we came to the landing on the first floor, Lover Man sat down on the last step and said loudly, "Wait Hon, my sneaker is untied". He extended both arms and bent over to tie the laces as Ralph quietly walks down his arm, and disappeared into the night, unnoticed.