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Saturday, February 13, 2010

The last

This is the last time I will see you, he tells the hotel receptionist, silently. And you, and you, to the man pouring paper cups of white waffle batter in the breakfast line, to the squat woman with a wheel of arms who pops in and out of bedrooms, undoing their recent rumples, whirling them back into an original state of cleanliness, as if they had never smelled of guests. He did not know for sure: he might again come through this city, years later, might perhaps stay in the same hotel. But the odds favored finality. He was already sixty, and hotel staff turnover was high. Wondered, if somehow his vision marked those whom he would not see again in their present forms, say with a red glow or dot, just how red the subway throng would be, or the movie crowd, or the family reunion. And who would remain unglowing to the end: who would be with him at the last.

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