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After following The Indigo Man for three weeks, there were two truths I knew about him. The first was that he never left his apartment on Wednesdays. On those days he had Chinese food delivered around noon, then let the hours pass while he sat in his lumpy maroon recliner watching TV. Across the street, through my binoculars, all I could see were the changes in his expression, how his face morphed from laughter to boredom to a drowsiness brought on by the now empty cartons of takeout. Okay, I figured, so it's just his lazy day. But once, when he left his medicine cabinet open, it provided me a reflection of the TV he was laughing at. But there were no daytime talk shows, no overzealous infomercials. The TV wasn't even on.
The second truth I knew about him was that he spent the other six days a week making deliveries. He went on foot, a bag slung over his right shoulder and a wool cap on his head that he would periodically remove and peer into, as if verifying something. On State Street, he made six deliveries, skipping only the house with the orange cat sitting on the stoop. Out from his bag came small packages, tied in twine, which he slipped into the mail slots. Forty or fifty deliveries later, the sun had gone down, and I was tired of crouching behind bushes and park benches, and The Indigo Man retired to his favorite bar.
Three weeks of this and I was ready to give up – and then it happened. One of his little packages slipped from his bag and landed on the sidewalk, face up. I emerged from behind a dumpster, where I'd been holding my breath, almost turning blue, and dashed for the package. "For You And You Only" was written where the return address would have normally been. I flipped it over, and ran my thumb under the flap. But a voice said, "Hey," and the Indigo Man had realized his mistake, had turned back and was standing in front of me. For the first time, I was afraid of him. But all he did was hold out his hand, and wait for me to give back what was not mine.