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Gavin Adair

After the crash


After the crash a studio still went for ninefifty, but what could we do? I rode daybreak

past the park and through the poor section, to the island where the crewcuts lived.

The others took photos or ate Jack-in-the-Box or made tenfoot computer drawings or music.

I was the only one up early enough to see the old man feed the feral cats and leave

a trail of yellow plastic plates strewn behind our building. Other days I took the train across

the water, then got a bus crosstown. When I could I bought Chinese cigarettes

that were inexpensive but tasted like glue if smoked with wine. It was after the crash, but still

I sold more headphones than anybody, to Poles mostly and to a woman I once knew,

and all I could do was accept the pain in my feet as I walked up the hill past the golf course

to look down at the bridge and bay during lunch. It was before the war, and downtown

armored police snaked in formation through streets lined with buses they came in or brought

empty. People took pictures or yelled or played music, I saw a kid breakdance and flash

a squadron of pigs in a line. I saw Scott, who said he’d been down there three days.

I was getting hungry, so I smoked the Chinese cigarettes—they were called Generals,

and had a lifesized bee on each box.

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