As he scribbled the last flourish of his name, Gabriel asked, “Jimmy, what’s with that man with the sunglasses?”
Jimmy looked up from the clipboard, stared ahead, and looked at Gabriel, “You mean, Nehamaseh? With the black beanie?” Gabriel nodded. “He’s been in and out of here for about ten years. He’s had a hard life, man.” Gabriel wondered if his foreign-sounding name had contributed to its difficulty.
“Okay, see you tomorrow.”
“Bye-bye, Gabriel.”It didn’t occur immediately to Gabriel that the man with the sunglasses was crazy, but when the man didn’t show up the next day, the thought crossed his mind. That night he told Stella about him.
“He’s probably crazy, Gabriel,” she said, hanging her head and shaking it quickly. “It’s sad. Sometimes, you have to thank God, and say a prayer that you’re not one of the four who have problems. Mother of Gaw-awd, between them and the mole people.”
“Mole people? What do you mean?”
She was surprised. “You don’t know about them? They live underground in the subway!”
“Yea-ah! There are thousands of them, and they use the sewer system and have underground cities. A lot of them are demented and incapable.”
“So they live underground?”
“Yes!” she said, half-exasperated, eyes wide. “They’re the mole people! They can’t see the sun or they’ll go blind.”
He wondered if this were another of his mother’s superstitions.