Train pulls out; Cheryl's off to Boston. A guy approaches my car. “I just came in from Kansas City...” “A likely story,” I interrupt, not yet knowing how true. He's in shorts, hiking boots, beat flannel shirt. Gigantic pack, bedroll below, bandanna. “I'm going to Lowell; can you help me with train fare?” Ahh. His accent's not from here. He's wicked plausible. “Where Jack Kerouac was from.” I give him the eight bucks.
Get a Life
At the Dunkin' Donuts there's a muted television. To compensate there's Elvis on the Muzak, three chatty teen-age girls, and Spanish on a cell phone; cell phones by definition are always too freaking loud. Behind me there's a robust trade in ice, caffeine, and fat calories. I'm composing haiku in my head, but lucky for me the symptoms are subtle and misleading. Anyone who notices is too polite to take me to task.
Ray Scanlon lives in Massachusetts. He's paid attention for about fifteen minutes during the last 60 years. His web site is http://read.oldmanscanlon.com/.
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