Friday, December 8, 2023

"The Smoker"

The man who had lived in my house on Hawkins Street had owed more on the house than it was worth. It was in an undesirable part of town, or so I was told, but I loved the neighborhood. The houses were small. There was a permanent lemon icee stand a block away. I was about twenty steps away from a bodega that functioned as the neighborhood grocery store. My next door neighbor was an elderly lady from Portugal who spoke almost no English and yet complained to me about all the dogshit in my backyard while bragging about the tomatoes in her garden, which looked exactly like her breasts beneath her housedress, heavy and sliding. We were separated by a chainlink fence.

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