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LAST QUARTER MOON by Salvatore Difalco

Image result for quarter moon free image

Lately I’ve been getting dirty looks from people. Not just young people, though they are the worst offenders. Middle-aged people also shoot me dirty looks, and old people assume expressions of mild disgust. I wonder if it’s because I am a middle-aged white man. We’re disliked by many people these days, including members of our own demographic. I understand. Not really. But I understand how white middle-aged men, who have always had it easy, have become objects of disgust, derision, hatred. When I pass middle-aged white men, I myself feel like hitting them. I never actually hit them, I don’t want to be charged with assault, but the desire is very strong. It takes everything to keep from lashing out. Even when I look at myself in the mirror, which I seldom do, an impulse to strike the image overtakes me. I haven’t actually punched a mirror, but I’ve come close. We’ve fucked things up. Not me, per se, I am powerless and poor. I have no wife, no family, no profession, no property. No one can blame me for anything except failing to meet expectations, and in the end I alone bear that burden. Still, absolving myself of genetic guilt may strike some as insensitive and evidence of a predisposition to profound self-regard and denial. These are words, and as I read them I’m reminded of how fatuous my efforts have been, and continue to be, to express myself, and give meaning to an existence stripped of all significance. When I go out for a stroll in my most recent neighbourhood, and am confronted by the uncharitable and wolfish expressions of a pack of teenaged girls, my first impulse is to flee in horror. But one has to meet one’s fears head on in this life or suffer the fate of a yellow coward. I respond, with words I know to be powerful, in kind, to the seething pack. Offense quickly registered, outcries resound through the streets. Now I must flee. I run well for my age. Arms at right angles, shoulders square, I run to the nearby park and hide among a stand of poplars. A last quarter moon illumines the sky. Fascinating. I think of the moon, hanging there, rocky and immense, and imagine it slowly falling toward us, slowly falling toward Earth.

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