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every other man

The light outside the main entrance to our building has gone out again. The heavy metal door swings wide as I pull a hat down over my ears. In the darkness there are maybe twenty teenagers standing still. My boot scrapes across the ground, slowing down. Their hands in pockets, shoulders hunched, I look for a space to pass between them. A voice appears, saying hello in English, with an obvious accent. I am all instinct, sayingpivyet as I pass, not looking back, wondering who said this. There was a boy that was an extra in Blackbetty that lives in our building, but he is too young, too short for it to have been him.

I look back, navigating the puddles in the street. It does not make any sense.

N is with V, making their way home. I meet them, pulling V into my arms as she chatters about her day, about dry leaves and princesses, about her grandmother's apartment and what she ate there. We are going back home, and I try to explain the odd collection that stands outside. As we pass th…

Cracker Jack

Carrying E home in my arms, on a wet rainy night I stopped and rested against a ledge. Her face hid in my coat. I watched raindrops splattering on my shoes, in puddles on the cobblestones. I thought about a dream I had a lot when I was her age.

I am in a small boat in the center of a clean white lake. Objects that looked a bit like Cracker Jacks are popping up all around me in the milky water. Its surface is covered with the carmel corn, and then they all turn black.

The dream would repeat itself, and I would sit perfectly still, watching from the little boat. I did not cry out, as they was no one there to hear me. I did not struggle as I knew the burnt candies would always smother me.

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