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The Bojangles

 A long life lived, a life of hardships borne with little complaint, the evidence of such shown in creased features, tired eyes still sharp under heavy lids, and a wisdom spoken brokenly between sucks on a bottle grimy with fingerprints or deep drags on a bummed smoke. A body used to the very border of its limits, an old age characterized by the aches and pains of earlier days. There was nothing to be missed. No child to see married. No grandchild to hold. No wife to watch wilt and fade. He had walked his own path. He had passed others, and had indeed stopped briefly at times to share laughs and loves, sorrows and stories, but at the end he would be alone. He would move on unnoticed. There was comfort in that.

The city sounds were muted. The pavement as hard as ever. There was a stir in the surprisngly warm air. Stillness followed, and then lasting comfort obtained.

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