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  • There's a moment while the fancy falls away. The fanciness. The thingness. Things.

    You walk around in summer, hardly clothed, what is clothing, fabric, skin? Beauty, fashion, the things we commend to our artistic beings, loveliness, but humid nights ask for easiness. I want to divest. I divest all the time. I edit my life, I prepare; I am the Queen of Readiness. I will make a list of any sidewalk you put me to walk upon.

    But I like the easiness of dawn, when it's empty, and I like the easy of dusk when it's buzzing, and I like the street night when you realize you need so little and so many have so little and the clothes of winter clothe the summer street shadows.

    They wear our parkas in the heat of August and they know it and they do not know it. They are here and they know they are here and they do not know they are here and they know us and they do not know us; they know us.

    I came along one of my back alleys. I crouched down by a drainpipe and I remembered a day in January, walking in South Florida:
  • :I saw the familiar man among men in the beach homeless gathering by the stone seawall. I approached him.

    I reached into my pocket with the hole and fished out a fiver. I had seen him on the beach and on the pedestrianizing shopping street, I had seen him the oddest places, outside the movie theatre, he looked like the clerk I used to talk to in the bookstore. It could be him. Why couldn't it be him? We all who have been fallen.

    He looked me in the eye with a clear blue eye. Four blue eyes in the southern morning. He said, Why thank you very much, Ma'am.

    He had a good sturdy backpack, not old. He had good sneakers which fit him. His face was tanned in that way hard luck burns a face copper. His hair looked sun-dried and salt-bleached. There was a story in his story and it was none of my business.

    He was a gentleman of the rough side of life.

    I stood up in the alley, and walked home past garage graffiti and the outside wallpaper of events come and gone.

    I did not need much: my ratty walking-T, my experienced shredding walking pants, my good walking shoes, I wanted health, not too much health, not an over-abundance of health, not anybody else's health to have and to hold.

    I don't need much.

    I don't even need the things I keep to remind myself I don't need much.

    (Photos by Susan, August 4, 2013)
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