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He raps lightly on my door and I don’t want to answer, but I do.
“Come in.”
He comes in with that yellow stained tooth glaring right at me. He greets me. I divert my attention from his tooth to his extra stomach fat that is falling out the bottom of his highlighter green shirt and rolling over his pants. I wince, but not long enough for him to see.
“Yeah, she wants to get married.” He laughs and continues. “But I’m not ready. I’m old, I know, but I’m set in my ways. She wrote up a contract though, real serious about it.”
I nod, because that’s what I’m supposed to do. I exchange pleasantries. I play the part. Secretly, I’m contemplating places to bury his corpse. Of course, hypothetically speaking. I’m not a murderer.
“Lots of paperwork today?”
“Yeah, I better get back to it actually.”
“Oh yes, sorry about that.” His face darkens and he heads back to his cleaning cart. The yellow stained tooth is hidden for now.
I sigh.
“It’s fine. Sorry about your girl.” I somehow just found empathy.
He turns back and his face brightens like a jack-o’-lantern. “Tell me about it. Want me to bury your trash before I go?”
“Excuse me?”
“Uh what sir? I said want me to take out your trash?”
Oh. Okay. “Sure.”
He whistles some type of tune I’m unfamiliar with while he disposes of my trash. Then he looks me square in the eyes and says, “Okay, see you tomorrow.”
I don’t say goodbye because I’m stunned. I think he just read my mind. He’s on to me.
I smile for the first time today.

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