Larry listens to a song in his head while hocking newspapers on the corner. The voice, his voice, the singing voice inside his head, is baritone beautiful. His life is not adjusted.
He wakes in the afternoon and sleeps in the morning and visits downtown like a dark ghost, like a stinking cloud between the buildings. The night is saved, pennies tossed on the nightstand. Saved for hurting, but only saved like pennies or scraps of paper, reciepts handed to him by outstretched arms when he can get a burger at Stan's Greasy Spoon. Tossed on the nightstand and blended into the broken wood.
Loose change. Rolled down windows. Ink stains lost in the circles of his fingerprints. Heartache and backache and hunger and thirst. He hardly has time for anything else. The skin around his knees droops down his shins. He stomps, twists, turns, his head singing, and it slides downward still and more. His whole body is like this, an old suit he tries all day to slip away from.
He can feel alive, though, when he flags drivers and does his dance. While they fish for quarters, parked at his corner, he gives them a newspaper, a dance, listening to the song inside his head. The song is his woman's.
There was a women once, a good woman who cared for him, doted on him. She was that and all that and more. Her name is written in muddy water. Her name floats away from him, lost in lily pads dark and ringed as a placenta.
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