Saturday, April 16, 2011

I was waiting down at the ancient gate

It's when they've announced they're leaving that you see them most. People are motivated by finality, Jack decided without ten seconds' further consideration. The threat of real action, irrevocable consequences, will jolt them, move them, if nothing else will.

On this particular night he was thinking of, they had been sharing ice cream, which he had done at other times with Brandon and assorted third parties.

At this time the phone rang insistently, but he chose to ignore it.

What was the flavor? It was something like cereal milk, flavored with banana, or something else he couldn't remember. They passed the cardboard cup and shared a spoon, being family or close to it. Or maybe there were three spoons, he could not remember. It was a happy evening, with laughter, and the memory was still vivid.

The girls in the downstairs apartment were an infrequent presence in his life. He didn't know much about them except they had cats and parties and liked to gossip at late hours on the front step. Their voices would ring out clearly in judgement on cold nights when he had already been asleep two hours or more. Those nights were shining and crisp.

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