Red Hoodie

I’m nineteen,

walking a dog

at 2 AM. I spot

Red Hoodie. He

pauses. I walk

faster. I make the

block 3 times after.

1st time: ignores his

conversation partner.

2nd time: is gone.

3rd time: follows me in

his car. I look at the

sidewalk

to guide me back home.

I’m twenty-four with

a complex about being

twenty-four. I don’t walk

dogs for hours at a time at

2 or 3 in the morning anymore.

I’m at the gym like a normal person,

but

doing cardio and sweating

embarrassingly unlike the regulars.

I spot a Red Hoodie. A hiding figure.

Always perplexed by enigmas, wishing

to emulate their desperate and blinding

need to be Seen and Unseen. A ghost.

Or my delusions fading into my reality.

The entertainment has me uncaring.

Fire can’t be kept hidden. No eye contact, but admire me regardless. Let’s not engage.

I just want to be seen.

Walking contradictions.

We’re surrounded by mirrors. If we pass up the sign, we have to make the block again.

Again.

And again.

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