I was a boy when I asked my mother about people talking when no one was around. Park benches, sidewalks in San Francisco, heads down, busy talking.
They’re not well, she said.
Things are sticking in their ears now.
‘Yogurt’s on sale, ten for seven dollars.’
Looking at pieces of paper, talking loud in front of the canned beans.
‘Barbecue or ranch?’
Paying money to stick things in their ears.
‘Chicken or fish?'
'How’s Kenny doing?'
'Where are you?'
'What are you doing?'
Pound weights and pump machines at the gym.
'What are you doing? Overnight it? Be there tomorrow.'
When I was a boy, people talking with no one around scared me.
I think I will go across the street and talk with Raoul who is raking leaves in front of his house.
He’s wearing a NY Yankees t-shirt and he shakes my hand.

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