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the Man with a heart

On Wednesday, May 18, at 12:15 PM, my cell phone rang. The screen registered the call as coming from Bellevue, Washington. I picked it up figuring it had to be Microsoft. I had twice visited its store on 53rd and Fifth. Sure enough, a technician named Aakash Bakshi introduceed himself, with a voice clear and crisp and diction approaching perfection. “What part of India are you from?” I asked. “Pondicherry” he said. And I began reveling in this human contact, which came about as a result of my due diligence.

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Art Calls

As I was about to leave the lobby of the Lenox Hill Senior Center, in-hand a copy of the monthly schedule, an Asian woman asked, "Are you an artist?" I replied, "Are you Japanese" which was the first thing to come into my mind. Her forthrightness, mixed with a touch of delicacy, reminded me of Mickey, a Tokyo-born acquaintance. Then when she told me her parents had lived in Japan, but she was Taiwanese, I felt a sense of redemption. In turn she admitted, "I majored in fashion design in college. It's your clothes. They tell me who you are. I still have the eye, though I never pursued it. I'm a real estate broker;taking a break. My name's Shirley, Shirley Temple. But you can call me Shirley if you like."

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Ready For Who Knows What

Considering I was content with TV viewing, on, off, volume and tuning the skill set needed to bring that to fruition, it's a marvel I've learned to use a computer. Now with Windows 10 forced upon me, just when I got used to Windows 7, I wonder what next. I'm already daunted by the continued buffering my hard drive's enduring. Perhaps my RAM's not up to speed. Who cares, I say. When I can't abide, I'll purchase an Apple laptop. In the interim, I remind myself I'm not in Syria. How lucky can I be. I still stand; as does this city.

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A Perfect Pratfall  

I put on my gold bomber jacket. It was time to go. There were signs. The crowd had thinned and the invitation had read 6:30 PM to 11. It was 11. Besides, Clyde Frazier was a no-show; not that anyone said he was coming to his sports-themed bar. But his photos were a lure; as was that half-sized basketball court. He was, after all, a Knick. And for that reason this was the place Leo, my first cousin twice removed, chose to celebrate his bar mitzvah. There that thirteen year old was, surrounded by his cronies, laughing, dancing, playing games; his world far from mine. My set, the more moribund, hung out in the back, away from the noise. Our table's centerpiece was proof positive: a photo of Johnny Carson. He's dead.

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Blessed Unrest

What's your business is not my business. It's a truism which recently acquired my allegiance.From now on I'm staying behind an imaginary line. I don't know where that is but I'll find it. I'm tired of being accused of having boundary issues. Therefore, I'm blocking out all stimuli that would have formerly beckoned my intrusion. And Victor Smith I have to thank,though he'd have no idea why. He just sat there on the ledge, close to the front door of our building, moving not one muscle, his gaze down at his right hand holding his phone; looking like a ghoul.

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