“This thing is ruining my life.” That was the first text I sent after discovering that tiny rubber baby. Seriously, though,… look at it. It’s as profound as it is creepy, and I can’t escape it.
It may not be surprising that TRB (“Tiny Rubber Baby”) and I met in a bar. It’s true that it doesn’t appear to be an adult, and it carries no ID, but it is indicative of the type of thing that happens to me when I drink.
The story, as I remember it, goes like this: I was a handful of fingers into a bottle of scotch when the bartender approached me and laid TRB beside my glass. “I think you two were meant to be together,” she said matter-of-factly. She later admitted that she had no idea how right she’d turn out to be.
She told me that someone had found him balanced on the doorknob leading to the bar’s kitchen, but that no one had any idea how he’d gotten there. I was immediately enthralled. What manner of person takes a tiny rubber baby into a bar? The answer, as it would later turn out, is me; I’m the type of person.
“Bob over there is running from a warrant; Tammy is off to find a fresh start in a new city; Aaron is vacationing with a tiny rubber baby.”
Like me, TRB looks like he’s been around awhile. Although I can’t say that I haven’t contributed to that, he did look like he’d already been through a lot when I first met him. He’s apparently had an eventful existence, which is one of the many things about him that bothers me to the point of obsession. He doesn’t talk about it, though. TRB leaves the past in the past.
There’s also some kind of black dot on his head. What is that? Is it hair? Is it some sort of religious marking? There’s…