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He and a thin, middle-aged Asian man in a polo shirt were looking to sit at the same time. Both would rest in seats near me when the choosing is done. I could see the decisions being made in the subtle shifting of their eyes. I, myself, had only chosen to sit on account of—earlier—choosing the wrong shoes. To wear, yes. But also to buy and to keep. They hurt my feet; I could feel the blister near my big toe, where I’ll grow a bunion in my old age, like my grandmother did.

The Asian man sat first, two seats from me, leaving the only space on the bench the one next to me. This seat, the other man took, the one whose name I learned shortly after his sitting down and also immediately forgot, whether for it’s tribal-slash-ethnic complexities through which it forced my tongue, or my desired separation with the absurd experience that ensued—which, I’m unsure.

It started with an “O” sound.

O asked for the time. No reason not to oblige.

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