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l’hitraot l’hitraot shalom

March 7, 2010

The sun is out!

I walked downtown early in the morning. I should have worn a hat.

There was a guy sitting on Lone Tree Way in a wicker rocking chair. It had CUSHIONS.

He was not by the apartments, or in front of a house. He was pretty close to the bus stop, on the sidewalk across from Sylvia’s.

I said hi; he said hi. I was laughing. When I came back, he was still there. I said, “You’re still here!”

He said, “Can you tell me how to get to Amtrak? How far is it? I’m not from here, from An-tee-yock.”

I started to tell him. “It’s two miles, maybe. Walk straight down this street till you see the river…”

“There’s a river?”

I really don’t know how you get in and out of Antioch without seeing the river, but I suppose it’s possible. “Yes, there’s a river. Follow the street as it turns– it’ll turn into Second Street.”

“I just got back from the Middle East. From Israel. Have you ever been to Israel? Shalom.” He takes out his passport and starts flipping through it.

“Shalom. No. Second Street will be parallel to the river…”

“I was in the Middle East. I just got back.” Flip flip. “I got my ass kicked. The police have already bothered me once.”

I’m pushy. “Excuse me, let me finish. Do you really want to know how to get to Amtrak?”

“Yes. Gotta get out of here.”

I don’t blame him. “Follow this street to the end till it turns. It will turn into Second Street. Just go along Second Street until you see the Amtrak sign. The station is right by the river.”

“OK, OK. About two miles.”

“Good luck. I hope it takes you somewhere better than here.”

I didn’t stay to find out if the chair turns into a magic carpet or a heat-seeking drone. I kind of wanted to leave things the way they were, before anything got too weird. He said something about hitchhiking, as I walked away.

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