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Expectations (for Tiffany)

Someone sent a letter via sunlight, saying "Harold, there's purple in the trees." I went outside, unwashed and unshaven, and waited for the world to make a sound. Wind swept the bricks--and that was all. But there was purple in the trees. The church across the way had been empty for years. I went inside, sat on a broken pew, and wrote a letter to my long-lost sister. I folded the letter and tucked it inside a hymn book. I went outside to make sure there was still purple in the trees. There was still purple in the trees. But it was a cold place with nowhere to get to. I turned on a battery-operated pocket radio. It sounded like the ocean or the interior of a seashell. I wondered what had happened to all the voices and music that once poured out of my radio. Perhaps they had all been dropped into the ocean. Or tucked inside a seashell. And the wind would not go away. So that was something. I contemplated the meaning of purple in the trees--maybe it meant that something was coming, that I would not always be unwashed and isolated, that not even eternity lasts forever.

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