Out of the Rain
The man stands on the front porch with his hands in his pockets, staring at the floorboards. I duck – I’m afraid he caught me watching him from my window. I’ve never seen anyone in that house, and I don’t like to park near it because I’m afraid it’s haunted. Its windows are shut to the neighborhood, and it’s faded and overgrown. This man – I wonder what he’s thinking about. Standing visible and idle, most times you feel like you need to occupy your hands or your mind. I wouldn’t have the courage to stand there like that on a busy road where people could see me not thinking. Then a car drives by and I hear the water on the streets and in the air – this man is staying out of the rain. Is this the man I passed on my walk past the little bench? He said good morning to me every time I walked by, and today, earlier, he asked if I had any change. In the mornings he sits under the only tree in that patch of grass where the bench is, and in the rain he stands under the porch roof, waiting for the next thing to happen. A change in the weather. Nighttime. A passerby. I didn’t have any change, but he wished me a good day, and I know he’ll continue wishing me good morning every time I walk past.
I peek out the window again, and he has vanished from the haunted house. For a moment I’m afraid he’ll pop out in front of my window like they do in the thrillers, and I think, no, this was a real human person.
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