Feeling the warmth of their arms around me, I’m embracing old friends missing for years, the college boy I was, selling watered-down drinks in Carnegie Hall, Bartok’s music a passion of claws scratching down a wall, all of us dressed as lawyers, shrinks, poets, talking a storm. I’m 22 and tan, in California again, my co-worker at Shamban Engineering with a ’57 Plymouth’s fins like something from outer space, bright sun sizzling our eyes, we argue Sputnik and girls. A sonic boom overhead as a fighter peels off over the Pacific. I’m caught standing in the Freeway, a red MG sports cars brushing past, its top down, an old man waving.

John Allman | Mudlark No. 31
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