Papers

Benjamin and Tara were sitting on a park bench. The leaves were falling off the trees and you could feel the first chill of winter coming. They both remembered a different time, but now it was all coming to an end.

“Do you think the Republicans are going to win again?” he said.

“I don’t know, honey,” she replied, “You were always more interested in politics.”

“Well, no matter. Times are changing, you know. And the republicans now are not what they used to be. Everything changes. Even New York cheesecake ain’t the same.”

Tara nodded. She took out a paper baggie. She would always sweep the crumbs from Benjamin’s bagel into it. When there were enough of them, she would take the baggy to the park to feed the pigeons. Now, she threw some crumbs down and dozens of pigeons came over. They remembered their momma, or at least knew somebody would be here with the food.

“I guess it’s for the best,” said Benjamin, “You know. How things change, that is. Kids grow up, they have kids, their kids are in high school. At least Jake is. Falling in love, chasing after a girl. He’ll be getting a job soon. We are old, Tara.”

“That we are, my love. That we are,” she said, smiling.

Tara had brain cancer. The doctor said she had maybe a few months. She ran out of crumbs.

“Look at the man selling the papers. What is he? Moroccan? What nationality do you think he is?

“Maybe he’s Pakistani?” she said.

“Well, no matter,” he sighed. “Let’s go home. I’m getting cold.”

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