A story with three men.

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One.

I went to the library tonight.  Rushed over and made it with 15 to spare.  Tonight is the perfect night to be introduced to Chuck Palahniuk.  I have his book, Snuff, on hold.

The librarian is one that I recognized.  He was there last week.

He’s an older man, with grey hair.  Thin like silk.  I’ve never seen him smile.

He scans my books with smooth efficiency: lift, swipe, return, lower.

Last week, he didn’t ask if I wanted pay my late fines, like all the other librarians do.

He didn’t this week either.

.

Two.

On my way home, I walked through a park.  It was wide, open and grassy, with people playing tennis at the courts in the distance.   Off in the other far corner of the park are dogs.  Maybe six or a dozen.  Running running running, over the grass, around each other.  Their people chatting in attendance.  I want to walk over and join them but I don’t have a dog.

I spot a cute Daschund.  I won’t say that word aloud because I don’t know how to pronounce it.  I thought it was one way but recently have been hearing people say it another.  And they say it with a confidence I can’t fake.

This particular Daschund is smallish and caramel.  I saw him earlier, playing with a Jack Russell.  They ripped around in circles so fast they were running diagonal.

I sat down in the opposite corner of the park, on top of a picnic table.  The surface was rough, scuffed by keys carving initials.  Dark green paint peeling.

The Daschund’s owner is a man, 30s?  Looks tallish in the distance.  Brown hair, navy sweater.  Jeans.  He's holding a red leash.

The clouds are turning pink and my face is tilted up to the sky, watching.

It takes them a long time to walk by.  I keep turning to look but it’s the dog I’m interested in.

.

Three.

My phone rings and it’s a number I don’t recognize.  I think it might be my friend Stephanie, I just sent her a text from the park.

Hellooooo?

It’s a telemarketer.  He’s conducting… research… that’s… on behalf… of.  I can’t remember.  I wait for him to ask me a question so that I could answer with: No thank you, I’m not interested.

But he doesn’t.  Not in the first two paragraphs of his script, anyway.  He paused in-between but I was still waiting for the question he didn't ask.  He continued.

I’m having a good day so I ask if he could just.  Call me some other time.

He drops.  Like, tom…orrow?

Yeah okay sure, I say.

His voice drifts away as if lost in another thought.  He sounds like a real person now.

Okay thanks.  Bye.