Stanley

What’s it like to be in love? Stanley draws languidly on his cigarette, beige jacket and scarf thrown carelessly over his tall frame under the chilly bright autumn sky. He knew once—maybe. But he has worn the same three shirts and two pairs of pants for close to forty years now; and he has smoked for God knows how long…As the smoke fills his lungs, he strolls nonchalantly along College Avenue, carting the corrected essays for his next class under his left arm. It seems that any answers he once knew in his youth have slipped away into darkness. Have those ten years of schooling been a grand waste of money, if the only definite things he knows are the students running past him in their scarves, hats, and gloves to get to class on time, the sidewalk he paces, the papers under his arm, the cigarette in his lungs?

Yes, his answers have slipped away from him. Now they glide across the darkness of those ideas he cannot fathom, navigating through networks of roads that cannot be seen. Blindly turning right and then left, in the dark guessing where the roads are and where they lead but not really knowing, his answers in their smooth, slow glide end up flying over the glittery black expanse that is the ocean. Knowing now that they have taken a wrong turn, there is nothing they can do, and they continue to glide forward into the pitch black, the soft murmur of waves reaching them from the vast and endless ocean below.

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