Your Father

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All of this is occasioned by a telephone call from my dad:

I sit down on the couch, flip on the tube, and descend the cable channels to the low double-digits, where I find the red-jowled faces of men trapped inside too-tight sport coats going on at length about this player or that, and I know I’ve landed on the run-up to a baseball game. I have an immediate gut reaction to these men because, as it happens, I’m under imminent threat of getting my face slammed into my own locker by letterman-wearing jocks who, no doubt, will become less successful versions of the men I’m watching here on the tube. […]

The Tobacconist

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George searched his pockets for change, cluttering the counter with lint and pen caps, a crumpled tissue, pausing to clean his glasses while the tobacconist waited at the open register. It was the tobacconist he cared about, not the neatly lined cigars he had thumbed through moments earlier. George could see the smoke shop from his kitchen window, and last week had watched the tobacconist as he emerged and stood on the street corner in a pouring rain, until his coat was drenched through and rain coursed from his hat. […]

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