The View from Buddy's

Page 6 of 6

Suddenly an old gray sedan drives up to the liquor store window. Carlin's only customer of the day, a fortyish black man with a muscular physique, a thick gold necklace, and dark sunglasses gets out. He passes a twenty through the slot at the bottom of the window. Carlin passes back a pint of gin and some change. As the man turns to go, Carlin calls out after him, offering a plastic cup, which the man accepts.

"He's probably going to find a tree and sit and have his drink," Carlin muses. "People just need some peace sometimes. That's the way life is. Everyone needs to find somewhere to go."

Carlin says he hasn't figured out where he'll spend his days when he closes the store, now that he has the money to do as he pleases. In the meantime he'll be sitting here. He pats his dog Nick and returns his gaze to North Miami Avenue, dreaming, perhaps, of the future.

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Judy Cantor