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  • We’d always make goofy quips about the name of the place. This someplace is one of my favorite someplaces, or of all the someplaces I’ve been, the sandwiches aren’t too bad at this someplace. On my lunch, I’d meet him in the park adjacent to our building. At one time he used to come in and order at the counter, but the owners frowned on that. Maybe they said something to him. I don’t know. He quit coming inside, so I would bring him his roast beef with mayo in the park.

    We’d exchange dramas. So and so got picked up over on Lincoln Blvd. and hadn’t come out yet. Maybe there had been a stabbing at the shelter. He told me serious drama that concerned someone’s life or someone’s death. It made me embarrassed to exchange my meaningless reports of the little I’d managed to accomplish in the previous twenty-four hours.

    He could remember every date that I’d been on in the previous half year and he wanted to know every fine detail. Where did you take her? What did you both order there? It was 8:30 on a Saturday? How long did you wait for a table?

    At some point he had been in school. He had read most of the books that I had and many that I still have not. His daughter lived in Texas, she was 13. Her birthday is coming up toward the end of this month, he had mentioned.

    For two and a half weeks I’ve had my lunch alone. Until today, I’d been bringing his sandwich and eating it myself when he didn’t show. Maybe he figured out a way to get down and see his daughter before her birthday, maybe. Roast beef with mayo doesn’t work for me.
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