25.09.05 - 2:37 p.m.

he left me a message at 9:45 this morning, lighting a fire on the sabbath, and when i saw his phone number in my missed calls, my heart turned liquid and dripped to my toes because i knew it couldn't be anything short of catastrophic. his wavery voice said
do you realize that, in three years, we'll have known each other for twenty years?
he paused for a shuddery sigh and i could hear him sniff and wipe his nose with the edge of his sleeve (his mother would've said someone has to do your laundry, chaim!).
i don't know what i'm doing anymore, he said, and you're the only person who won't hate me.
i called back, but the phones are turned off -- the house phone, the one in his office -- to keep any more fires from being started.



when we were kids, if i wanted to tell him something on saturday, i had to ride my bike to his house.
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