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  • I woke up alone, except for my clock.

    I winced but routine came through: shorts, shirt, fleece, shoes, keys, sidewalk, Sarah.

    Mat, blanket, blocks, Sarah. Breathing, showing me how, Sarah. Giving me space, spreading my ribs, Sarah.

    And then sidewalk, sit, shit, shower, shave, shoes, subway.

    At Jay Street two gents made a move for free seats but Mr. Headphones boxed them out like a pro. Not like a pro, Mr. Headphones was a pro. A pro with three hundred pounds to back up the argument. A pro who sits where and when he wants. The gents were still standing when I dug out my paper for distraction.

    A1 below the fold, a perfect photo: deep blue, mermen surfacing, competition, breath holding, pressure, danger, death.

    Scanning information: concern, remove, alarm, hesitation, recognition, denial, acceptance, shock.

    It all comes together: my friend is a champion, my friend is a fish, my friend is extraordinary, my friend is dead.

    My friend from another life, it's been half a decade since we've spoken.

    I didn't know a diver, but I knew a drummer, a driver, a fixer.

    I knew a maniac stare and a mischievous grin. A sharp, reliable, joker who could get you out of a jam.

    And now in an instant ground slips away and the rest of the day is a daze, until I'm rearranging a newsstand, making photos to make the thing real.

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