He did it again.
Mr. Reemer (not his real name) held out his hand on the corner of 18th Avenue and 31st Street, and juggled two balls of stiffened beef tallow, daring any passers-by to pluck one of the balls from mid-air. No one ever wants to touch stiffened beef tallow, of course, so he found no takers. It was his next action that baffled everyone – even the reporter from the Daily Slouch.
The sun burned brightly in the skies over Weaverton that morning, and Mr. Reemer's hand grew all the more slippery with each cycle of the balls of stiffened beef tallow. As one last passer-by passed by (that is, after all, what passers-by do, you know), he paused in mid-juggle, and a ball of stiffened beef tallow stopped in mid-air. It hovered. It wobbled. It glistened.
“Hear my tale,” said Mr. Reemer to the passer-by. “Hear my tale of tallow. A tallowy tale, yet not too tall of a tallowy tale.”
The passer-by stopped and stared at the ball of stiffened beef tallow.
“Hear of the genesis, as it were,” continued Mr. Reemer, smiling. “You know where this lovely ball of stiffened beef tallow comes from, don't you?”
The passer-by shook her head, as if to say “no.”
(That is often what people mean when they shake their heads.)
“Let me show you.” With his free hand (the one that was not growing all the more slippery from stiffened beef tallow) he traced a picture in the air – a picture so divine, so graceful, and so intricate. He then reached out and placed his index finger upon the forehead of the passer-by. “Receive,” said Mr. Reemer.
The passer-by shook and trembled, and then grew still.
“Deeper than you might think?” she asked, at great length.
“Deeper than you might think,” said Mr. Reemer.
The passer-by reached out her hand. Mr. Reemer reached out his own hand (the one that had been growing all the more slippery). As their hands met, he turned his over, placing the ball of stiffened beef tallow in hers. While she held it, he kept his hand on the ball for a long while, allowing liquefied beef tallow to run from his palm and cascade over hers.
“Deeper,” he said.
“Deeper,” she said.
The softened beef tallow ran down in tiny little rivulets, over her palm, down her wrist, and down her arm. She felt it dripping onto her shoes.
Mr. Reemer (not his real name, remember?) withdrew his hand, leaving the passer-by holding the ball of stiffened beef tallow. He gently directed her arm beneath the other ball that was still hovering and wobbling and glistening in mid-air.
He looked into her eyes.
She looked into his eyes.
“Receive,” said Mr. Reemer. He made the sign of the grackle and walked away. Out of sight. Out of mind. Out of body.
The passer-by began to juggle the balls of stiffened beef tallow. The sun burned brightly in the skies over Weaverton, and the passer-by's hand grew all the more slippery with each cycle. A voice from deep within came, at long last, to her lips.
“Hear my tale...”