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Excuse Me Miss Is Anyone Sitting Here?  Jeez God he was the fifth one in half an hour and it wasn’t even her table it was the table next to her they came they sat they pulled out their computers and stood up, looked around the room and adjusted themselves, then away, downstairs, to the street, to the action, to the place that has whatever they were really looking for which was never a seat in a cafe, never a little table with no outlet, no I got the outlet.  She sat there with no tits to speak of  and her face was crooked you could see it instantly the way one side of her mouth curled up too high it was just the way things were and she didn’t mind for herself but it got old so she adjusted her papers she piled up her books putting Piscé Pure on top, the best one on top nobody knows what it means and you can tell so much by what people ask you by what they are willing to ask.

Excuse Me Miss Is Anyone Sitting Here.  I’m afraid so.  You can’t sit here.  I forbid it.  He froze he was surprised he stepped closer but I don’t see anyone at all there isn’t even a coffee ring are you expecting someone No I’m not expecting anyone at all it’s just busy Is it me are you just saying this because it’s me or is it everyone why can’t I sit here because I say you can’t because I don’t want you to it’s not okay.

That book is stupid he said and she said what book like she’d never even noticed it there nor the biography of Proust written without reference to autobiographical sources nor the third volume which was lyric poetry by survivors from the american invasion at Okinawa.  She didn’t like poetry at all but it was important some of those people barely escaped the suicides recommended by their own government if they were girls it was better to die than risk the alluring American candy bar and if they had poetry about it she felt she should read it yes that book is okay he said I can see reading that but the Piscé Pure book is just ridiculous do you really think eating any amount of fish will remove sin from your body if your body has sinned it just has and if you don’t believe in sin its even more ridiculous why do you have it.

Sit down she said.


Leslie Ingham is a founding member of the Portuguese Artists Colony.  She is currently at work on a novel.

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