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Saturday, July 23, 2005

The man outside

The man outside sat there every morning and every night. Every day, for weeks now, as I passed out of arm's reach, I smiled cautiously.

We had an understanding. He was filthy, he reeked of last night's urine, but I attributed to him a sort of nobility. I knew he had a story, a great tragedy, something I could never understand.

Last night as I ran through the pretense of checking my cellphone messages, he lunged at me. I stumbled out of step and he broke into rasping laughter, doused me with chills. He laughed at me as I righted myself, and laughed at me as I hurried to my car.

I wonder if you can feel the loss of a relationship that never existed. Or perhaps it's the end of my naivete. Though jadedly enough I thought it had died long ago.


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