Joshua Hamden didn't go home that night. He couldn't allow himself burden his family. He couldn't stand ruining the bliss for them any longer, making the cures a burden, rather than society's joy. Rather, he found a spot on the damp doorstep of a graffitied brick warehouse where the intoxicating temptations of a myriad of smoked things wafted among the truck exhaust. 

     Occasionally, a hooded man would walk man walked by through the illumination of a lopsided streetlight carrying a clinched paper bag or with a barely conscious girl in his threadbare arms, not noticing the man tucked into the corner. The wet streets were lined with decaying cigarette butts, crushed beer cans, and chewed gum, and they too were blind to recognition of the silent stranger. The water on the street glistened and shined with the unpalatable, grey colors of oil floating atop it. Hamden sat staring at the swirling colors until his eyes glazed.


     Some time between midnight and 4:00 am, Hamden flailed suddenly, knocking over a man who was beginning to speak into his ear. The man's skin was a deep, rich brown, caked with dirt, like a thoroughbred chestnut horse that had been fated to labor in the mud. He was slightly heavy, but he had the stance of a fallen conquerer. He wore a black hat with shambolic black and grey hair fringing out the bottom, and sideburns a mustache and a beard, all flowing together like a great rushing river. "Why are you here?" he was asking. His voice was throaty but enthusiastic. It took Hamden a moment  to steady himself. The man asked again. "Why are you here?"

     Hamden faltered for a minute, suddenly unsure of how to answer. "I couldn't bring myself to go home," he finally responded. 

"Mmhm," the man said. "What's your name?"



"Well what's yours?" Hamden asked him, struggling to mask a precipitous swell of faceless despair.

"Moses" he said, poking his chest like a satisfied child. "I live here."

"Where I'm sitting?, 'here'?" Hamden asked him.

"No, but near here," Moses replied. "Come with me. I'll show you."

And so Hamden followed Moses around the corner into the dark.

The End

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