Sunday, October 12, 2008

I was sipping coffee from a styrofoam cup behind a car in someone's driveway when I heard voices singing Christmas music. Then several eager-looking high school kids, all with dark skin and wearing glasses with heavy black rims, started passing by on the sidewalk. The first few didn't notice me, but then one did, and she walked back to where I was standing and offered me a very weathered looking piece of chocolate from a small box that contained mostly empty wrappers. I thought she was trying to sell the candy. After feeling my pockets, I apologized, saying, "I'm sorry, I don't have any money. You should have asked me before Christmas." And she said, "Oh, you're right. We should have thought of that." Then she looked at me, and kept on looking at me, and her expression was one of profound sympathy. Soon I was surrounded by other members of her group, and they too were looking at me in the same way. Their gaze was so intense that I thought they must be from another world. Then, without warning, the scene suddenly shifted, and I was swimming in the air not far above a green grassy field. There were trees here and there, and a small empty ditch lined with concrete zigzagged through the landscape. I landed softly on my feet. I was met by a kid who used to live down the street from us. He said, "I used to be someone else."

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