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  • Everyone has a story. Everyone. The lady behind the counter lost her husband and her son. The girl in the sundress has never been in love. The man in the jeans standing at the front of the classroom was once a boy with no shoes and no shirt wandering the woods with a .22 over one shoulder. Sometimes I think we forget that. That everyone has a past. That even though he listens to NPR while cooking lasagna now, before he would go out and shoot things and sometimes miss. That even though now there is a house with a cat, there used to be a shack with a family. That they ate welfare cheese and powdered milk and it didn't taste bad. That it was hard and there wasn't much but it wasn't bad. Looking at him you can’t even tell he paid his way through college in eight years working in factories, still eating cheese and powdered milk sometimes just because.
    It should not be surprising that everyone has a story, but it is.
    It isn’t fair that you can’t just look at them and know.
    And it especially isn’t fair that the man in the jeans standing at the front of the classroom was once a boy with no shoes and no shirt wandering the woods with a .22 over one shoulder. And that now every time I see one of those restaurant signs I will only ever think of him.
    But maybe that’s the way he wants it, and anyway there isn’t anything you can do about it.
    Except maybe ask.
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