Mr Bobo has no real name.
I call him Mr Bobo when referring to him to friends or when I’m needing to name him. He was so full of life, character, and quirkiness, but he could not be labelled.
“Do you mind me asking your name?” I asked politely, one quiet Sunday morning.
“I do not wish for a name”
“But what do I call you?”
“Just call me a friend.”
Mr Bobo seems to be a carefully constructed character who constantly whipped out lines like that one. He seemed to have adapted the persona from a badly written book.
I keep waiting for the act to drop. Or for the routine to finally reveal itself. But the cracks never did appear.
I wonder if Mr Bobo has created himself from the pages of different books and attempted to sew a life and personality together from the fragmented chronology .
But Mr Bobo is anything, but predictable.
One day, he would be stating that life is black and white. Another, that it’s all shades of grey.
“Big picture” he’d tell me as he only focused on the details.
I’m still not too sure what to make of Mr Bobo. I think he liked that.
After every interaction with him, I would scribble all that was done and said in order to make sense of it. I’m hopeful that all the various scenes will eventually form a crystal clear picture of who this man is. A narrative will be created and Mr Bobo will finally be understood.
He would recount what must be fabricated tales of his life. They were confusing, intriguing, sometimes ridiculous. But it all seemed a little too strange to be fiction.
Every visit from Mr Bobo was a surprise. And I began to wonder what would come from all our interactions.
He’s a committed a terrible crime, he told me one day when the store was empty.
“A murder?” I whispered back
“There are much worse crimes than murder,” his tone has darken. I held my breath
“I have taken someone’s soul and I do not intend to return it.”
I tried to stifle a laugh, but Mr Bobo was not having it.
“Have you ever had anyone try to steal your soul?”
“I have not,” I began to feel a little uncomfortable.
“Well, I can guarantee it is not a pleasant nor laughable experience”
I nodded my head slowly.
Mr Bobo then cheerfully paid for his things and left the shop.
A few days after the exchange, the police came in, asking about someone who matched Mr Bobo’s description. I could only offer them what little I knew. I was desperate for information.
“Has he done something really bad? Did he kill someone? Or steal something? And can you tell me his real name?”
But I was firmly told that it was none of my business.
I thought I’d never see Mr Bobo again.
And then I received a letter from him.
Mr Bobo is a short fiction piece.