There was once a guy who loved sitting on the stairs. He loved sitting on the stairs so much that he spent most of his life on the stairs. His name was Takashi Taro.
Taro read books and did his homework on the stairs. As a student at a university with many buildings, Taro found delight at the fact that there were as many stairs as there were buildings on the campus. When Taro was deciding which university he would apply to after his high school exam, the first criteria which entered his mind was the existence of stairs and their abundance.
Taro couldn’t help but feel aroused at the sight of stairs ,and he felt compelled to sit on it and get to know that set of stairs. Once when going to Athens with a group of friends, they almost missed the flight, because Taro insisted on sitting on every flight of stairs available at the airport.
It’s not like Taro loved every form of stairs there is. For example , Taro hated escalators with his guts , and swore to himself to never even stand on one. To Takashi Taro, the escalator is not a real staircase, but a traitor to the family of stairs because it is always moving, while his definition of stairs is one which stays put and silent. To Taro the stairs is a place of peace and self-contemplation. Taro thought it preposterous that a staircase would take upon itself to move people up and down between the floors, while it was originally made only as a static and silent way with which human beings traverse. The best kind of stairs in Taro’s mind is the spiral staircase, perhaps because that kind of stairs is hard to find, or perhaps because of its unique shape. When Taro finds a spiral staircase he would make sure to spend time sitting on every one of its stair. Perhaps sitting on each stair gives a different view of the world from the spiral staircase,but only Taro knows the reason why.
Taro loved sitting on the stairs so much that he wrote a letter to the student union to ask that his classes be conducted at the huge set of stairs at the entrance of the monumental Portland building. His class of almost 200 students would sit on the stairs like a choir ensemble, while their lecturer would stand at the bottom and preach. He wrote that students should be allowed to enjoy the sight of the yellow trees of autumn infront of the Portland building, and to watch the grey geese and the majestic swans spooning for food while learning. He added that watching yellow dead leaves fall to the ground would remind the students that life is short and death is always coming, so they should study properly.
Fortunately his suggestion was rubbished by the administration, because autumn at the campus is cold as hell, and nobody would ever want to study outside. When Taro asked the Dean himself to let them have their class on the stairs inside the building instead, the Dean told him to get lost and to never bother coming to his office again.
Taro tried to explain to the Dean the benefits of sitting on the stairs and its pleasures, but the old guy got mad and told him to go and screw himself.
First of all Takashi Taro did not understand why other people could not understand the pleasures of sitting on the stairs. Taro finds himself unable to concentrate on his work if he’s not on the stairs. When he wished to call his family at home or his long-distance girlfriend, Taro would first sit on the stairs and make sure that his feet were firm and comfortable on the stairs.
Unlike chairs and sofas, not many would sit on the stairs, and nobody would ever take his place as the stairs-sitter. But of course sitting on the stairs gave Taro a lot of problems. Sitting on the stairway , most of all , blocks people’s way, and you are a bound to be yelled or kicked at if the staircase is narrow. “Why would you sit on the stairs when there’re so many chairs in the house?” , was a question Taro was sick of hearing everyday. Why couldn’t people appreciate his beloved stairs?
An addiction with sitting on the stairs might also exude signs of antisocial tendencies,
even though Taro had a good composure and was able to conduct lively conversations with all sorts of people. Taro almost lost his girlfriend when he went to her parents’ house for the first time. While her family was sitting at the living room with Whitehall tea and butter cookies on the table, Taro was sitting at the stairs to the second floor , beside the daughter’s bedroom. Taro was answering the parent’s questions about himself and his family by shouting from the stairs, which was about ten metres from the living room.
Obviously the parents were freaking out about the apparent fact that their daughter was dating a weird and socially-impaired kid. Taro had tried to resist himself at first , but the sight of the stairs covered with velvety red fabric and the railings painted in golden gloss was too amazing to behold. The red carpeting was decorated with flowery patterns of yellow thread.Unlike those dirty stairs at the campus and dusty carpets on the stairs at his friends’ houses, this one was outrageously clean, and the fabric smelled of lavender and of the evening rain. It was a set of stairs which was one in a million of stairs, and at that moment Taro decided the third reason to marry his girlfriend; to be able to sit on that particular staircase.
Taro was lucky that his girlfriend was understanding, and that she was quick to fix the situation. Taro is, even with his strange love of stairs, a nice and responsible man, and the girlfriend was quite happy to ignore his stair-loving tendencies . She said that Taro had a stomach ache, and that he had a problem to hold in his farts, which was not really a lie. She said that Taro had a complex about sitting around people when he has a stomach ache, and that was the reason Taro was sitting on the stairs like Humpty Dumpty sitting on a wall. That was how his love of stairs almost lost him his girlfriend.
Taro’s habit of sitting on the stairs almost cost him his friends as well. When the university sophomores set a welcoming party for their juniors at one of the frat houses, Taro sat on the stairs instead of playing games and eating crisps downstairs. Everyone thought that he was just an introverted kid who had an aversion towards crowds, but his good nature and his being adept in holding conversations helped sort things out, although he was conversing with others from the top of the stairs. He took a cup of juice and a piece of cake, and sat on the stairs like it’s the most natural thing to do.
Things get weird when I first went to Taro’s house and found him sitting on the stairs. He made me some tea and put Jaffa cakes on the table, then nonchalantly went back to sit on the stairs. “There’s a plug for my phone at the top of the stairs, that’s why I’m sitting here,” said Taro so casually, it made me think that sitting on the stairs is the most ordinary thing to do. His housemates were apparently quite annoyed with the fact that there’s a guy blocking their way to the toilet, but they got tired of him telling them about the pleasures of sitting on the stairs that they just let him be.
When Taro came to my house a few days later, with a plastic bag full of seedless grapes, I was anxious because my house doesn’t have any stairs. He went in and discreetly looked around for his seat of honour, then let out a small sigh. That day was the first time I saw Taro sit on a sofa, and he looked so displeased with himself, he kept fidgeting about , and finally sat down on the floor. I put it in my mind then to find a house with a beautiful staircase for the next year.
Taro once almost lost his life because of his peculiar habit. It was during the depth of the winter of his first year, when Taro went to the city to find a vacuum cleaner for his stairs at home. That winter was a harsh one, with temperatures going negative most of the time. The roads were slippery with frozen rainwater, and our houses set the heaters on full power. That winter night Taro rode a bus to the city’s old market to look for cheap vacuum cleaners , and he got off at the Old Market bus stop.
On his way to the electronic shop Taro saw the steps to the entrance of a particularly ancient building. I think it used to be a old post office in the 18th century,and now it houses a bookshop. The steps weren’t decorated with marbles or anything, it was just a simple arrangement of bricks, covered with moss and blackened with time. “I felt the stairs calling out to me,” said Taro , a few days after the incident. “They have been there for hundreds of years, those poor steps, but nobody has bothered to sit on them for a very long time.
I felt a very strong urge to sit on the steps and to imagine the stories behind its existence. Stairs are lonely beings , you know,”said Taro in a-matter-of-fact tone. “Stairs and roads have similar functions, to connect people from one place to another. Because roads are usually long , people stop at the roadsides to rest, and others build shops and houses and restaurants alongside the road, so roads don’t get lonely as much. Not many people would sit on the stairs because it blocks people’s way , and thus they function as nothing else but as a way”
“That’s why I feel enchanted with stairs, and I must sit on them. You know, stairs do remember every shoes that stepped on them and their owners, every kind of stinky feet, be it human beings, cats or dogs. The steps to that old building had existed for so long that it hold within itself the history of the city itself. I sat on the stairs and saw a black and white image of a young woman in a Victorian gown with an envelope in her clutches. Her face was brimming with happiness. Then I saw an old man with a top hat in the memory of the bricks, who struggled with his cane up the steps , only to slip and fell on his head, which burst open with blood.”
“There were all sorts of men and women who had walked upon the stairs, and all kinds of dogs; German sheperds, daschunds, bulldogs and terriers. It was fascinating.”
Takashi Taro went to the city and sat on the stairs. He forgot his initial objective of getting a vacuum cleaner for the stairs at home, and he found himself lost in his conversation with the ancient steps. He only realized that it was late midnight when it started snowing. The shops had all closed, and there were no more buses for the night. Taro was alone, with the stairs. He tried to call the taxi, but they refused his call because the heavy snow was making the roads too dangerous to drive. Taro called me and other friends , but it was so late that nobody was awake.
It was an old hobo who found him in the wee hours of the morning, almost frozen to death. Why he wouldn’t just walk that night to a nearby house for shelter was beyond me. Apparently the old hobo , experienced with freezing to death while living on the streets, put Taro on his back and ran all the way to the city hospital.
That’s the story of how Takashi Taro, the guy who loved stairs almost lost his life. The doctors had to cut off two of his fingers and one of his toes because of frostbite. Silly Taro, stairs aren’t living beings, and they don’t talk to people.