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Thursday, November 19, 2009


He was forty, and sat in the deli with a spider plant he'd picked up in Floral. Several things were apparent from his posture: that he had borne a Kansas childhood with no mother, and a father and stepmother out of a Roald Dahl book. That as a schoolboy he was neither tormented as a nerd nor celebrated as anything; he was simply not seen. He asked no one to prom, took his clarinet instead. Dinner beforehand and everything. She got her own chair, her own salad. That people just like his former classmates would admire his films and wish they knew the kind of guy who could dream up that kind of stuff. That the noise of his musician companions would fill the ears of their teenagers. He was successful and still invisible, currently disguised by foliage. Now he traveled. He had twelve years left to live, and figured as much. He fancied the plant, but left her on the table when he was finished sitting. He thought better of trying to keep her warm in his car as the states flew under the wheels.

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