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Fiction

I see someone now I see every day, though he may not know it. I may not know it. That is to say, we are the same, though we may not know it. I see him in the mirror.


And yet, I'm not looking into a mirror, but across a street. It's New York. Cars. Buildings. Noise.


The man has bags, and bags in bags, all empty with his stuff. He pushes a rickety grocery cart. Step. Step. Step. A part of his ripped shirt swings from his hip and scrapes the sidewalk. Ground Zero behind him. Twin tragedies.


A brown banana falls from his pocket. Maybe he was going to eat it. Maybe he waited too long when it looked all fine.


It's cold and windy. Almost winter. I wonder if he slept last night, or if sleep is gone with the wind. I hope he rests somewhere. A dead heart should.


I know from my own good heart. Good and dead, mine and many's. It's wearying, life is.


I've been caught out before, friend. Just like you. I run. Run from everything. Tears. Run. Away. But my baggage smuggles on. Always on my trips. Missteps with me, on. Like all the bags you have. Empty. Filled empty with stuff.


There is more between us than you know. The same walk, we walk. You don't know it. I may not know it.


How should I explain it, then? Something neither of us knows? A metaphor will do, then?


The beach. Let me put it that way. We make the shores in search of land, you and I. And yet, on land we search. Passing, passing. Looking for the ebb - the end - to start. Disappearing to find it. Ceasing to be.


What are you thinking about? Right now, what are you thinking about? You sit down. You must be tired. I suppose I'll sit, too, and hold on for dear life. There are black marks on the pavement. It looked all fine once. Everything was all fine once. I suppose it's like us, then. Down to the black marks. Haha!


Would that raise a laugh from you, I wonder? Sometimes, laughing is crying, you know. Though we often don't know it. We may think we are laughing. We laugh, thinking. What are the other mysteries of life? I'm sure you've asked the same.


I've heard life is in the littleness. They don't call that a mystery. Rather a secret. Have you heard it before? Who hasn't? Yet we know we must live by it. Not all know. We may know. The littleless. And what's smaller than this moment in time? In history? It's nothing. It's everything. It's gone, already.


But let's not delve into that. Let's not delve into anything, but jump around from thing to thing. Why? So much is cast in concrete for us, friend. The past, at the least. Black marks, tears, every littleness. Things we will never see right. Things we will never see again. It's best not to delve.


You must be tired. I am. They say a man can but die once. I disagree. We disagree. Haven't we suffered every little death along this way? I have. We. And yet, they'd guess it look at you, the one I've fallen under. The one I fall under, and the reverse. You and me, I. Me and you, You. They guess wrong, I suppose. They may not know it.


We won't make old bones, friend. But would we have anything else? Than to live how we're living? I suppose you might. Well, I would, too. I would kick life cold if I had the courage.


It's remarkable we don't look the same. That's a mystery. You have a beard, dirt. You limp. Your fingernails are black. But we are the same. I won't delve into it too much.


What would you say to these things? I'm sure you'd say back, that we are the same. Both in lean times, one way or another. Never a home patch to have on. Never had one myself, though technically I have. Have you? Oh, I imagine. I imagine so.


And look at this. A woman passes you. I'll give her a name. I haven't given you a name, for we share the same. The same and none. We know there are no names, really. But she? She walks with one. A name. Assumed. I'll call her Jan.


Jan throws you bad eyes, worse than your fruit. Than ours. Worse than we have done. Have you done wrong? I've done wrong.


You don't notice Jan's look. She even shakes her head at the banana with frustration. Maybe she almost stepped on it! But so? Ah, so! Can't she see us, what we are? How we feel? Oh, hard a heart as stone! What did it? What set her in her misery? Wouldn't you like to know? Jan? Would she?


Some have too many mysteries, friend. They don't know and never can. They never nicen up. They never can. And you know what I feel? About the sorts who look bad at us? Who don't notice past what they see? I don't care a hang! Oh, it's praise from Sir Hubert, to be hated by the hateful!


A can of peas. A chapter book. A pillow. The littleness. That's what she can't see most of all. That's her biggest mystery. But you and me, we share the littleness. Every one of this moment. You may not know it. I may not know it.


Or do you? What are you looking at? I don't suppose you're looking at... me? Oh, but you are. Oh, you are. You can see I am one of you, then. Practically you, then. No beard, no limp, but so the same! And we share this moment in time, on the ride no one gave us easy! Blown off course, friend. Me, too. Oh, you see past my haircut, my heavy wool coat - the fake warmth they bring me. You see my empty bags. You see what I'm holding underneath. Where the cold gets. Where the gust gets, still. Then, the low-pitched sounds. Low. Low.


Blowing in the wind, friend. We are.


I suppose...


this is...


Goodbye.


*************


The fuck is this dude looking at?


November 19, 2021 00:42

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4 comments

Lore Ax Horton
03:01 Nov 22, 2021

Well, I enjoyed this ramble. Found it amusing. Banana theme recurrent. A story here. Yep. Thanks for musing my time! Must read more- is there more? Scroll. Search. Ching now. For you

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Nix ♞
20:55 Nov 22, 2021

Thank you, Lore Ax!

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Leonard Mills
21:17 Nov 21, 2021

Loved, really made me laugh. I think maybe I've been your protagonist at sometime. The style reminds me of The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, utterly unrelated topic but similar narrative style. Great fun, thanks, and congratulations.

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Nix ♞
23:52 Nov 21, 2021

Thank you, Leonard!

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