Monday, September 6, 2010


On the way back from the theater, I stopped at a convenient store to pay a small parking ticket I'd gotten that night. As I was leaving, a man with crutches, a club foot and a very thick left sole walked in to buy something. I left and noticed his keys were still in the ignition of his scooter. Who would steal a crippled man's scooter, with its cane-holder and widened floorboard? I drove farther up the same road and stopped to get a drink before I reached home. As I parked I saw a man sitting on a bench: his left foot was injured, wrapped in a bandage, and he had a pair of crutches resting by his side.

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Last night I was walking to get some steamed dumplings. It was after hours, so the sidewalk was dimply lit and nearly all the shops were closed. It was late. Virtually no one else was on the streets. I passed a clothing store and immediately noticed someone standing at my left. A pale figure. It was a mannequin. I paused and turned on my heel to behold her. She was naked and armless, her hips turned toward the street, her head back towards the store, towards me. I leaned in––we were half a mannequin's length apart––and gazed at her eyes: a dusky purple eye liner filled the eye lids. I walked on to eat my dumplings. On the way back, I stopped before her, much closer now, and gazed into her face. "I want to dream this mannequin tonight," I said, out loud, to any invisible mannequins that might have been there. I let her face fill my field of vision, and felt fear. She was unblinking, despite her feeble nudity and solitude. "I want to dream this mannequin tonight." I did not dream of her.

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