The World, Life and Everything

The World, Life and Everything
by John Tottenham

I wandered the pre-dawn streets of St. Louis and breakfasted at a cafeteria called Miss Hullings, where I pushed aside a plate of lukewarm scrambled eggs. A man at a neighboring table repeated a bitter litany over and over to himself: “You lied to me and deceived me… I’m going to miss you.” I fell asleep with my head on a thin pillow in a room on the sixth floor of the Mark Twain hotel on 9th and Locust. I rose in the middle of the afternoon and wandered through a deserted warehouse district by the river, along the landing, and up beneath the arch. Darkness fell and I returned to the cafeteria. The same heartbroken man was still sitting there, although at a different table. “Selfish bitch,” he mumbled to himself, “you’re a beautiful person in a lot of ways… I don’t need that kind of love… what have you got to be mad about?”

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