The Man Who Doesn’t Like Leo Kottke

During my recent visit to my native land I twice saw The Man Who Doesn’t Like Leo Kottke. This surprised me as I had always considered him a figure of myth, a stock character in local tales of blood and horror, an invention, an illustration employed to influence a child’s behavior. As it turns, The Man Who Doesn’t Like Leo Kottke lives on Military Turnpike Road and has broadband.

While I was breakfasting with my brother at Mary’s Diner on Kellogg Street, The Man Who Doesn’t Like Leo Kottke entered the diner and took a stool at the counter. My brother became almost agitated.

Look, he said. It’s The Man Who Doesn’t Like Leo Kottke.

No such person, I said.

He’s right there, he said. The Man Who Doesn’t Like Leo Kottke.

The Man Who Doesn’t Like Leo Kottke ordered coffee and cherry pie. This seemed normal enough, although most people prefer apple pie for breakfast.

When he left our waitress said, Did you see him? Did you see The Man Who Doesn’t Like Leo Kottke?

We sure did, my brother said.

Later that day I took my Uncle Brad fishing on Matwick Pond. He had been a devoted fisherman up to my grandparents’ deaths, afterwhich he said he found landing a fish troublesome. So I took up the oars and we circled the pond over and over while Uncle Brad told stories of fishing Matwick Pond when he was a boy.

A man appeared along the bank, walking south on North Road. He stopped and waved. After Uncle Brad waved back, he continued his journey.

That, said Uncle Brad, was The Man Who Doesn’t Like Leo Kottke.

I saw him this morning, I said. He doesn’t at all seem the same fellow to me.

Oh, Uncle Brad said. There’s no mistaking him.

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