you can tell

you can tell a man by the way he walks, the treads of his shoes, the soles of his worn-out feet. the late hour’s darkness grips the city, he walks his usual route home. it rains lightly, he steps through muddy puddles, onto the pavement of lombard st. the death of night surrounds him. damp. the city center is caught in rare quietude, and his overcoat is filled with the momentary weight of pride. residue of the day’s treasures, tucked into the lining of the leather, and whining softly. tomorrow he won’t weigh so much… he promises. the nervous silence is stunted with echoes of scorn: sarcastically gratuitous, respectful.

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