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THE NOTE ON THE DOOR

the note on the door said "let's meet at the docks at 3 a.m." it was written by shirley mckinley when she was living by the skin of her teeth on 10th avenue selling peanuts out of an old cart. i remember shirley from her days as a radio city tap dancer; she’d dance up a storm that would fell a dozen oaks and leave a square block of families homeless. when shirley smiled everyone stood back from the radiation. knowing you had only a few seconds before you’d be left mumbling to yourself with only half of what you brought to the party. when shirley left that note she was a shadow of her rambunctious self. a broken reflection in a beat up mirror out in the junk yard. a trembling leaf on an almost bare tree in late november. sammy told me shirley's working at the mental asylym in hastings. she straps the crazy's down when they act up and turns on the switch that shakes them around like an unruly child. maybe i'll go up and visit her some sunday. it'll be good to see old shirley with her broken teeth & raucous laugh. maybe i’ll return that note to her with all its memories of that night when we made love and shirley jumped into infinity.


  Bruce Weber