The Pizza Girl

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I’m in the garage rummaging through George’s old things.  I find his tool belt and put it on.  The weight of it tugs my pants down a little.  I try to pick up his toolbox, but it’s too heavy so I dump out half of its contents onto the workbench.  I walk around to the front porch and ring the doorbell.  I wait for George to answer it.  Nowadays, it takes him a long time to do anything.  First he has to remember what the doorbell means.  Then he has to find the right door.  Inside I hear closets being open and shut.  At last, he opens the front door and looks at me curiously.  He doesn’t recognize me, but in my mind, I pretend he’s only pretending not to recognize me.

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The Impressionist

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At the railroad crossing, I turn off the road and follow the tracks until the trees on either side are dense.  It’s three in the morning, and there aren’t many cars around, but I want to be sure.  I park across the tracks and turn off the engine.  I wait.

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Look

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The NASA land rover trekked slowly across the Martian surface, leaving behind tracks in the red soil of the planet’s north pole.  It came to a stop, extended its mechanical arm, and proceeded to dig a hole in the ground.  Once it reached the layer of ice just inches below, it drilled into it, extracted a sample, and examined it under its onboard microscope.  The probe had tirelessly executed this routine thousands of times in the past four months.  Its mission: to find evidence of life.

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Choices

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There he was again.  The young guy with the red baseball cap.  Standing at the end of the aisle, watching him.  Pretending not to notice, Nick glanced down at his shopping list.  A second later, he looked back up, and the man was gone.  Not even a trailing shadow left.  He pushed his cart swiftly to the end of the aisle, peered left and right, but the man was nowhere in sight.

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