January

A man passes me wearing gloves that have had the fingers cut off. His coat is too long, the golf bag rolling behind him contains no golf clubs. His hair is curling out from his baseball cap and the bill is pulled low over his face. I see him again an hour later, walking one direction or another for no more than a few hundred feet at a time.

I am ideologically afraid of him, afraid of the thinness of him, for knowing that it resides in me as well. I can see what constitutes who I am weakening, and wonder if, when he saw his own frame becoming over encumbered, he too went in search of heavier burdens. I wonder if his skin was once as thick as mine used to be. I wonder if he too used to take the blame, if he too used to look in the mirror and see the good and the bad honestly. Above all I wonder if these virtues were what gave him the impression he was strong enough to take on the life that broke him.

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