The first time I visited their home, I was led directly to a steep, spiraling, iron-wrought staircase that seemed it might lead to the top of a lighthouse or castle. I remember feeling a distinction of being a giant, to wondering how quickly I might die once my weight torn the stairs from their bolts in the wall, and I fell flat on the floor below, which I assumed was a glass of some sort, the kind that stabs to teach folks the value of not falling.
After a successful flight, I learned it was an office after all, but for tiny people. Not the politically correct ‘tiny people’, but honest to goodness short and skinny people. They stood while I leaned to the right like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I was sweating from an internal temperature that would have made most pass out, and will it though I wished, my nose refused to stop running, which left me with my sweater to avoid looking like a complete orangutan.
“Oh, wow!” is what I was able to expel between breaths, in response to their excitement of showing me the customized room for what had to be customized body types. Just as my heart began to slow, fifteen minutes later, they said it was time to head to the kitchen for a snack.
The trip down the stairs seems like a joke, a premeditated source of entertainment that probably ended in me being buried beneath their home, where they took me to visit their other office.
So far. So weird.
Next we went to the kitchen, which took me aback because they’d filled the island with snacks -enough for a party of ten. The only attendees were the three of us, and my love-hate relationship with food.
We stood, sat, ate, laughed, and talked about everything under the sun, except what I was there for. I drove home during sunset, wondering about the tiny people I’d been introduced to, and how they seemed ultra-strange but ultra-sweet in very unsuspecting ways. Even though I didn’t understand what had just happened, I smiled because it felt nice, something I could file away when I had people over again, minus the castle stairway and basement to the bell ringer.
Thought: It was a year filled with facing a fear of big buildings and houses head-on, and finally admit that my fear of people was bigger.