Stanley Squantro Part 1, The Boy Who Could Talk To Walls
by Patrick Coughlin
Stanley Squantro, like many humans in the modern world, spent a lot of time in rooms. Rooms, of course, are made primarily of walls, which is to say a room can lack a proper floor or ceiling, but there is no such thing as a room without walls, as that would simply be outside. Commonly referred as the “Out of Doors”, roomless environments would more accurately be labeled the “Out of Walls”. As a matter of fact and coincidence, this is exactly how Stanley Squantro referred to being outside.
“Where are you going, Stanley?”
“For a stroll out of walls.”
You get the idea. It’s simply that the reality and importance of walls was very clear in Stanley Squantro’s unusual mind, and it sometimes influenced him in the way of little eccentricities like that. To Stanley, “Out of Doors” was a problem experienced by housebuilding crews.
For your consideration, nobody can tell you how or why, but when Stanley Squantro talked to walls, the walls talked back.
By way of an explanation, he offers this;
“I can see the faces of walls. Not always right away, sometimes it takes me a while, or maybe it’s a shy wall and doesn’t want to show me it’s face right away, but sooner or later I see it, and it sees me, and when that happens I can talk to it, and it talks back to me.”
Of all the people that ever shared space in a room with Stanley while he conversed with the walls, no one could ever hear the walls talking to Stanley except Stanley, and what’s more, no one ever heard him talking to them, either. To their senses, it appeared that Stanley simply stared silently at a wall or walls for a while, not exactly in a trance, just quiet, then he would “snap out of it” and report his findings, if appropriate. Not that the walls care if their secrets get spread around. Accordingly to Stanely, walls are dispassionate entities for whom such concepts as “secrets” are simply nonexistent.
“After all it’s people’s reputations that are at stake, not the wall’s.” Stanley has often said in rebuke to the gossip hounds, or the overly curious, to be polite about it. You can hardly blame such types for bothering Stanley Squantro, who has peeled back the concealing paint from the walls of so many historical mysteries. But that’s for later.
What is Stanley Squantro? Is he a detective? A historian? A hero? A villain? All these and more, naturally. To sum up, let’s call him a finder, outside, of course, from being a wall talker, which is obvious.
Throughout his childhood, he was Stanley on the spot for any and all lost items in the household. Mom’s keys, Brother Stevie’s snakes, hamsters, mice, and various other small wild caught creatures (often found, unfortunately, in the same place, if you catch my meaning), Sister’s shoes and socks, Dad’s various secret stashes, always having to be moved to avoid detection and inevitably forgotten. Here’s how Dad approached it; Mom would be taking the kids along on a shopping trip or some such activity and Dad would request that Stanley stay behind to help him with some project or other and when they were gone he would say real nonchalant like to Stanley,
-Say Stan, do your old man a favor and ask the walls where Dad put his stash last time, okay?
-Say no more. Stanley would reply. Returning with his quarry, for example a cigarette case tucked behind the bookcase, Dad would take it with one hand and pat Stanley on the head with the other, give him some cash and remind him that this particular finding was to be between the two of them only. This kind of practice instilled in young stanley the importance of discretion as well as it’s value.
You may be wondering at the nonchalance of this Dad person in regards to Stanley’s strange ability. the fact is, Stanley never made a secret of his wall talking. Whenever someone asked him how he was so good at finding things, he would just say the walls told him where they are. The Squantros were a witty and playful family, so to all of them but Stanley himself, his “talking to walls” was simply an adopted code the family used in reference to his bizarre success rate in the finding of lost things. You get me?
To be continued!