He walked down the street.

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The man walked clumsily down the street, splashing through the puddles.

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God I need a drink he slurred to himself, stumbling headway, his feet slapping on the wet asphalt and trouncing through the puddles.

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The puddles, slick with oil and detritus from the roadway, gleamed innocently as his feet plunged in with wild abandon; his head pounded as a rough mental slurry of gins and vodkas and oh God I need a drinks stumbled about confusingly in his mind.

———————

The street light on the puddles caused a Swiss cheese effect, dappled orbs floating on the asphalt, their iridescent oil rings bobbing ever so gently from the rumble of distant traffic; his feet like AWOL soldiers stumbling frantically in a reckless precision, landing bombs in the puddles and sending casualties, trembling, running for cover- God my head he thought just shut up and move he thought trying to sidestep the intense bombardment of thoughts that crashed in his brain, made all the worse due to the fact that there was no cover.

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Splash splash splash splash SPLASH!!! went the rant said the jack cheese Oh God attack! watch the awnings drip with wet stuff hilarious at first but wetter and stuffer as time passed splash splash roar cold sober up wake up make it home in one piece.

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Where did two years go?  How do I lose something so precious, so much a part of my being, for two years?  What tempest blew it away?  Did I cause it?  Am I responsible- but even before I think the words, I know the answer.  Such a question is never asked unless the truth be already known- the voicing of it is but a prelude to the chorus, bearing robes.  I am out of the rain now, but the water still drenches my clothes and my shivers are cold comfort indeed.  I am acutely aware that I have walked this path on too many occasions, far from where I intended to be when I awoke each morning.  But that’s the thing- you take one misstep here- a wandering path there- and before you know it, you’re on the wrong side of town.  The side where the awnings are torn and the rain finds sinister ways to hit you, even when you should be dry.

Some things mean nothing- some things mean everything.  Knowing which is which is the key thing.  It is an all too human thing to make a mistake- nothing is a greater sign of our freedom.  What is unforgivable, in the end, is allowing ourselves to be tricked into thinking that we haven’t made a mistake.  Such is the provenance of fools, not of men.

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I pull my coat about me and walk back out into the maelstrom, heading back the way I came.  It is the only way, after all, to get back to where I began.  Were there an easier way, I would take it.  I know that now.  All measure of glory has died.

Drip.

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