The Fire Breather: A Kafkaesque Paper Essay, Research Paper
In front of the cold eyes of hundreds of people every day, he would stand on the street in his ragged clothes and brown paper sandals and breath plumes of fire into the sky like a factory belching smoke. The people would stare in amazement as he did this over and over; he seemed to have an endless supply of the bright energy inside of himself. He glanced down at his watch every day right around three-thirty in the afternoon and packed his mat into his bag and set off for the bank, because it would close at four-fifteen. As he stumbled down the dark, muddy side streets and alleys, he met a man who lived in his own trash. The man was apparently part of this trash mound; his arms stuck out all over and his face disappeared here and there, as if woven in. He stopped and talked with the man, and then he had to hurry along. He couldn?t carry his profit with him all night, and he didn?t feel safe with it anyway. As he slid his way along the sidewalk, he passed an endless stretch of flower stores into which the cold, gray facade of the bank was inserted. He looked confidently at the bank and then opened the door and stepped across the plush red carpeting. The doorman waved his hat and asked how he was that fine day. The man was fine, and so he said as much and made his way through the group of grey suits and asked to make a deposit. The teller asked for how much, and the man fished out his deposit. That day he had netted about the same amount as he usually did, so he was not surprised. He told the teller, she wrote the amount down and bid the man good day. He slunk out, knowing his profit was in good hands. He wondered about his previous deposits. He had never made a withdrawal, so he had no idea how much was actually in his account. Inside the bank, the woman grimaced as she sorted through his deposit as she did every day. Finding nothing, she got out the broom and swept his deposit into the trash at her side and tended to the next customer. The man turned around in the street and came back in the inquire about the state of his account. Again, after fighting through the grey suits, he came up to the teller. She looks surprised, bewildered by his coming in a second time. He asks an unfamiliar question and she becomes confused, irritated. She?s put up with his nonsense before, but this was trying her patience. The doorman came over and grabbed the man and tossed him onto the curb, cutting his side in the process. He looked down, but he wasn?t bleeding; there?s no blood left to bleed. He retreats to his home and lies down, this time in a pool of his own blood. He closes his eyes to the light and dreams of his account, that which he has worked twenty years on the curb to obtain. They did not understand, so they became upset, but he knew that very soon he would march up to the teller and demand that she withdraw everything from his account, and he would march away, never to stand on his curb again.