Maybe we all live in the Tropic Of Cancer.

What’d happened to him over the years, no one could really tell. He’d gone from being a relatively happy fellow to being down in the dregs. Which some say is the best part of a wine. Others would disagree.

Time flew by. He found himself alone in his closing years. Living in a room filled with books, words, a typewriter, an old wooden desk. Dust atop of bed posts, night stands, lampshades, shelves, a cleaning was needed.

And his own soul needed cleaning. Apologies needed to be made. People in his past he’d let down. Loans never paid back. Broken hearts along the way. He prayed for forgiveness everyday; confessed his sins on paper. Wrote stories ’bout less than savory types. The kind that run off; never stick it out. He never stuck it out.

Had a time when he was younger. A real night hawk. Drinkin’ and carousing until four in the morning. Waiting for waitresses to clock out. Driving ’round the country jazzed on some kind of manic mania; up and down interstates. Calling out for one more round, one more song, a lost tooth from a fight in Yonkers; should’ve seen the other guy.

Now youth was gone. Bed time was 8:30, a cup of coco from an unwashed mug, pillow case with saliva marks on it, sleeping on his side’s, scared to look up at heaven.

How does one know if they’re forgiven? Forgiven by those they sinned against. This is what haunted him. Debts he couldn’t pay back. Perhaps poverty was the price he paid.

Goodnight, he’d say out loud. Goodnight, as if she were there. She, one of many. But now those days are over. Aren’t they? Maybe we all live in the Tropic Of Cancer.

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