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  • What a dame. What a creature. What a most wonderful girl I’ve had the misfortune to meet in my lifetime. Yes, misfortune because of this girl, I’ve lost marriage, family, and the right to be happy. Instead, I’ve devoted my life to listening to her problems, letting her cry on my shoulders when her heart breaks, and believe me, her heart is broken constantly. She’s the type that’s the pushover for any sodden-trodden slob who comes her way. All the guy’s got to do is hang his head and my girl, Emily, is there with her arms open wide. All of those slobs left her broken hearted, broken spirit and broke. And all she has to do is call me and I come running.

    What about me, I’ve asked myself over and over again. Is she ever there for me when my heart breaks as I listen to her melodramatics. No. But it’s the path I walk. Emily’s my path, the girl of my dreams, the one I fell head over heels with when she and I were toddlers in the sandbox looking at each others peepees. She tells me I’m her buddy, her best friend in the whole world, and I tell her she’s the love of my life. She laughs and I die a little inside. Ah, it’s the way of the land.

    Me, I’m the last of the traveling salesmen. I sell anything that comes in a suitcase, anything I can pack into the trunk of my car. Door to door, office to office, retail or wholesale, it doesn’t matter to me as long as I make a buck. Been doing it for 30 some years now, and it’s been a heck of a life. My first salesman job was the local paper route on my schwinn bike. Probably the most difficult one to bat. Soggy papers in the morning, crumpy customers in their pj’s getting a paper that didn’t quite make it to the porch, a pitcher I’m not. Those were the days before the plastic baggies, we just rolled and rubber-banded them, stuck them in our paper bag, and rode off into the sunrise. Whoever thought of a morning newspaper should be hung by their nails and whipped with a wet rolled newspaper. Hard getting money from those grouches. Every month, trudging up to the doorstep, almost begging what’s due for me only to have some lousy grown-up swearing in the face about wet newspapers. What sweet memories! But somehow it didn’t deter me from traveling down the road to better opportunities and Emily.
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