p
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o
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writings about
walking around
,
the prom
,
and
moving forward
.
I saw only his forehead (sooty) at first, then quickly his eyes (alert), mouth (chapped, absent some teeth), shoulders (pitched forward), hands (chapped, grimy), and maps (free at any Smithsonian museum).  The escalator lifted me up from the metro to the street, and into the gaze of this transient.
"Wanna buy a map?"  He hoped I did.
I wondered for the hundredth time who it was that first attempted this scam, and if he’d made it off of the streets.  Maybe he went on to start the bottled water craze.  (It could have been a woman, of course; I simply lack the appropriate third-person gender-neutral pronoun.)  I passed these ‘map vendors’ ever day on my way to work.  And I had never answered the question.
For some reason, today was different.  (Which should not be altogether unexpected.  Had it not been, I would not be recounting this story; after all, a good yarn relies on difference.)
"Do you have any showing the way to buried treasure?", I asked, "Or to lands long-forgotten?\
Father, 03/13/01

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