by MEREDITH KURZ
Sleeping on a Concrete Bed by 2C2K Photography | Flickr
It’s 8:50 p.m. and the Eternal Flame Diner closes at nine. Although the lights are still on, they seem to dim as the last customers head out. Saint Louis waits outside for that moment between near closing time but not too close to lights out. She’s smoothed down her pants and plucked up her shirt collar. A tall woman with a good collar gets respect. She’s wiped her teeth with her finger, run a hand through her short hair. On the way uptown she washed up, giving her armpits and shirt pits a scrub, drying both under the blower. She puts on a little smile, because a full smile would seem aggressive and also reveal all the crevices of blackness, of missingness there.
The boy, it's always some young boy, gets ready to throw away the bakeries behind glass and the milk that's stood all day on the coffee accessories bar. Louis gently opens the diner door and says, "If you're going to throw those away, I'd sure appreciate them." She stands far away from him, from his worry.
by JUSTIN DILL
As If Hell Were A Real Place
Michael Patrick Welch / McSweeney's
New Orleans / Ryan Thomas / Flickr
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