Morning and evening on this very day

 

Walking along the lake’s edge, I halt in the long grass and look down at my feet in shock. A baby bird, black fluff and nubs for wings sat just beyond the toe of my boot. In terror, it rolled on its back screaming and shivering. Its mother and father, two large waterfowl swept toward me. Surprised and shocked I stumbled backward and the baby ran away on tiny red legs to join its mother.

She said to me gently in the moonlight that her friend had not yet met someone and felt terribly sad about it. Everyone needs someone she said. I turned away slightly and looked out at the distant lights of the city. I wondered how many people were alone, I thought about the pain of loneliness. All our stories, I thought, are about people meeting. Where are the stories of the people who never meet anyone?

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