There is a thing you do that most people never see. It is probably on purpose. The first time I saw it, we were walking down an empty late-night street. I don’t remember which one — this memory is not topographic.

He was pushing a cart up the sidewalk towards us, but I heard him before I spotted him. Yelling. Shouting. Ranting. He passed under a street light and there he was, head down, pushing hard. I imagined the many things that were about to go wrong when we would pass him by too close and if I had been alone I would have already skipped off the curb and across the street and around the corner. But my arm was hooked in through yours and I could feel that you did not share that impulse.

He was almost on top of us now, shouting into the night, and when he looked up to navigate around us you caught his eye. You looked straight at each other and you said “Hey man, you seem mad.”

“Yeah. I’m pissed off.”

We could hear the cart rattle up the hill behind us for blocks, but didn’t hear him say another word.



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