Sunday, December 7, 2008

Droubble: Heraclitus' River

Heraclitus' River

I’d been back in town a while before I felt the urge to stop in at the old deli. I hadn’t been in since my return; not, that matter, since I’d left town in the first place, not on any of my visits home. But as I walked by that day, it seemed suddenly important.

A bell jingled as I opened the door. The place hadn’t changed – it even smelled the same, same as those days sweeping floors and washing plates. The owner – Robert? Richard? – looked up. I nodded, and after a few seconds I saw recognition on his face.

“How have you been?” he asked, his enthusiasm just a little forced.

“Well,” I replied.

“I’m sorry, I can’t quite remember your name.”


“Ahh, of course. So, are you in college now?”

“A few years out, actually,” I say.

“Oh, you’re making me feel old. You worked here in high school, right?

“First job, in fact,” I said, nodding. Suddenly an urge to be anywhere else. The conversation felt like reading a script.

“How the time flies. Well, come on in for a sandwich some time.”

“I will. Good seeing you.” I turn and step outside, gasping for air.

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