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far from home

1. It was my turn to leave work early today. But I stuck around for a while. Because I feel guilty about leaving when everyone else is staying behind. Even though there have been plenty of times this summer when everyone else left early and I stayed behind.

2. I left at 3 p.m.. I zig-zagged my way through the office blocks back to Market Street. It was partly sunny. But fog was blowing in through the office blocks. And I thought it was beautiful. I looked east and saw the Bay Bridge shining in remnants of sunlight. I looked west and saw grey mass of fog coming over the city hills. I looked at pretty ladies passing on the street and wondered where they go when the fog settles in. I wondered about what kind of men they love and adore.

3. I was in Safeway. I was there yesterday, buying food and wine. And I was there today, buying food and brandy. Now I won't have to leave secret motel for the rest of the weekend. I have a crush on all the pretty Asian cashiers that work there. I always put a little extra bounce in my voice when I talk with them. Because I think they are beautiful and I see so many other customers completely ignore them. And I wish I had a rapport with them. I wonder if they remember me from before when I come through their line. I wonder if they noticed that I made eye contact with them and that I spoke to them in complete sentences.

4. I'm on my second bottle of wine and listening to "Sonatas for Violin & Piano" by Charles Ives. This music makes me think of old Sunday Isolation and abandoned churches and nothing left in the world to break the fall of sunlight. I sent off some poems to Ploughshares today. And I started thinking about a new short story based on a dream I had a long time ago. I think most of my stories are based on dreams I've had. And most of my dreams are inspired by stories I have yet to write.

5. How late does it have to get before it's early? Charles Ives rings the sunlight. And I wring the sunlight. I walk along a Sunday morning creek long after all the best parts of life have died or drifted away. Don't tell me the sun is God wearing a hood. Don't tell me someone I loved is buried in the park. Or dying alone in a sunny hospital room. You don't have to go very far before you realize you are far from home. Sometimes, you don't even have to leave.

6. I am far from home. Far from home.

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