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The Man

To my left first, then to my right, I looked for a friendly face.  There were none.  Nothing but long, drawn grins on nameless faces.  I never saw the first blow.  Nor the second.  They rained down, one after another, until I collapsed into a bloody heap on the ground.  I tried to gather some recognizable feature from the assailants, but they were tall empty shadows.  Sensing my helplessness I laid prone on the ground and drifted into unconsciousness.

I awoke.

The sun beamed threw my windows, and I sat up in bed, the same bed I had fallen asleep in not four hours ago.  Quickly I grabbed my face, moving from nose to eyes to cheeks to neck.  No bruising from what I could tell.

I darted from my bed across my laundry strewn across the floor into the bathroom to confirm this realization, and disprove my fear from the previous night.  How could it be that I was not a swollen Picasso of a man?  I stared at my reflection, still disbelieving my sight, and yet unsure of what to make of this.  I had felt the jabs.  I had felt my jaw unlock from its hinges and separate.  I could taste my blood building up in my mouth and running down my face.  How can I awake to a picture of health?

I slowly stepped into the shower.  Perhaps the hot cascade could rinse these doubts from my psyche.

I sat down at my table, prepared myself to eat some rice and drink some black tea, and as I ate stared out of my window at the groups and paths of people below me.

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