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Junk Mail

On my way over here, a boy howled at me. I saw two boys in the distance, walking towards me on the other side of the road, and the older one started howling. Like a boy mimicking a wolf howling at the moon. It wasn’t a full moon. The moon wasn’t even up yet. The sun was still there in the sky — just to the side of a state housing block, like the building and the sun might be having a conversation. The boys stopped in their tracks and looked at me from across the road, waiting for a reaction. I felt self-conscious even though the boys looked like they weren’t even ten years old. I didn’t stop walking. But I looked at them as I passed them and I laughed nervously. I was glad I was walking on the other side of the road. Then the boys started laughing too. I couldn’t decide whether they were laughing with me or at me. But I laughed again anyway. So the three of us were laughing, really laughing, together, from opposite sides of the road, like it had been scripted that way. I heard one of the boys say, ‘So can I’ve a smoke?’ And the other one said, ‘I’ve only got one left, you can have a drag.’

When I got here you’d forgotten I was coming over. So I sat on your front step, waiting, watching the sun going down behind the apartments, and a man delivering junk mail struggling to get the junk mail into your letterbox. He pretended he didn’t see me sitting there on the front step, watching him. He could probably tell I didn’t live here by the way I was sitting — too casually, pretending like I did.

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