It was always nicer to see him from far away, and so I walked away. From there he was small, so I reached out and grabbed him and placed him in my breast pocket.
I supposed he was lonely there in my pocket, and so I walked farther away to make the world shrink more, until I could pluck the skyscrapers and the residential buildings from their places with my thumb and my index finger, along with the street lamps and the benches and the crowds bustling past one another down the avenue. I placed it all in my pocket, so that he would have a somewhere to live, and a street to walk down, and strangers to walk past. I walked farther away still, and plucked some stars from the sky and dropped them in my pocket as well so that he would have something to contemplate at night.
I felt good about all this, and so I kept walking, farther and farther, until I found myself far from everything and everyone. Looking into my pocket I saw life being lived as it always had been. If I squinted I could see him down there, sitting for a coffee or bopping his way down the road, his face slack as it is when we think we’re alone, and his eyes free of the sight of me.
Matthew Schultz is an author living in Tel Aviv. His work has been anthologized in Best American Nonrequired Reading, and has appeared in Ecotone Magazine, Flash Fiction Magazine, Vice, and Tablet Magazine.
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