An Afternoon

“That’s the reason why I never read and I never write,” the old man said. “Sentences are like surf boards. Once you read them, and especially once you write them down, you automatically get on top of them like surf boards, and you never know where they’ll take you. More often than not they’ll take you to a place filled with pain, and in my life I’ve lived through a lot of pain; I’d rather not go to those places in my mind.”

He looked down at the boy sitting beside him. The little boy was looking up at him with large eyes. The small child was holding a sandwich too big for his hands.

“When you get to be my age, you’ll understand,” the old man said. “How old are you anyway?”

“Three,” the little boy said.

“Ah. You will see many things yet. I hope you will see more happy things than sad things.”

The little boy took a bite of his sandwich and said, “Lolo, yummy.”

The old man smiled at him and patted him on the head, then he folded his arms and stayed perfectly still. He looked out into the horizon and observed the orange streaks of light in the sky. The afternoon was quiet. A soft breeze rustled the trees in the park. In the distance, a lady was walking her dog.

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