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Richard Brautigan and I sat fishing at the pond. The sun was beginning to set and reflected clearly in the water. A jogger ran on the path behind us. We waited for her to be out of ear shot.

“How are you doing, kiddo?” he asked.

“Holding up,” I answered. I was in mourning for a lost love. Richard had been there for the break-up, but the boy had no idea he was there. Richard was good at hiding.

When the boy left for the last time, Richard reappeared to offer comfort in the form of silence. The summer the followed was long and full of strangeness, but it would soon come to an end. We could feel the autumn wind blowing in. Leaves were turning brilliant colors, but not quite ready to fall yet.

With the turning of the season, the college students were coming back to the area. The empty apartments were beginning to fill up, and by December our lease would expire. We would either need to resign, or move.

“The summer is almost over,” he said gently.

“What does one do after graduating college?” I asked.

“One moves.”

“To where?”

“Anywhere.”

“Let’s go to a real city,” I said. “Enough of this nonsense.”

“Agreed.”

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