Thursday, January 5

The Man in Orange and Other Animals

The Gnome's apartment overlooks an office block where workers are still visible through the windows when he returns in the evening. He is unsure whether this means they are harder working and more successful than him, or are sad, lonely individuals who have no reason to go home, but either way he cannot help but study them - the human equivalent of the ant farms advertised in comics during his childhood.

When studying any community, one individual often lifts themselves above the crowd - primus inter pares. Such an individual is Orange Man.

All seems normal during working hours. He works at a desk, interacts with colleagues, uses the phone. However as the time to depart draws near, he prepares for the outdoors - and this is where his individuality vividly expresses itself. He always wears something orange. Bright orange. Almost fluorescent orange.

One day a scarf, the next gloves, occasionally a coat, but never once does he leave without some form of orange motif. If none of his outdoor apparel is orange, he has an orange bag, slung nonchalantly over his shoulder as he leaves for the night.


Is he a Dutch football supporter? Does he have an interest in the politics of Northern Ireland and wishes to declare his allegience to Ian Paisley and the DUP? Did he misunderstand his doctor's advice on ensuring sufficient daily vitamin C when he said try an orange each day?

The Gnome will follow this subject with interest and report any new findings. Perhaps he will also comment on some of the other animals he can see from his apartment window. By no means does he wish to be thought of as a voyeur, but the lure of other peoples' lives seen from afar has a strange fascination...

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