19 hey there lonely girl - crop1



          I sat down finally on the corner of my bench in Brethren Park.  I hunched and lighted my last cigar.  I blew a cloud of smoke between my knees and onto the pathway.  I watched my smoke disturb the destiny of ants.

          “Don’t get old,” I croaked.  Brethren Park took no notice.  I was just waiting now.  I closed my eyes.  It was so quiet that I could hear the tremolo of the tinnitus in my ears and as I concentrated upon it I could imagine it engulfing my world in a shriek that no one else could hear.

          That’s when she sat down hard at the other corner of my bench.  She startled me.

          “I’m sorry,” she said glancing at me, “I can’t do anything right.”  She held her school books against her chest like a shield and…

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