If I happen to see you from across the street sitting on your front stoop crying, I won’t walk across the street to ask if you’re all right. Most likely I’ll watch from inside my apartment, in front of the window, and speculate as to all the reasons you might be crying. I won’t ask if it has anything to do with one of your two children or if it’s about one of the men I’ve seen going into your apartment. If you were sitting on my stoop instead of your stoop I’d probably say something. “Excuse me,” I’d probably say. There’s not enough room to comfortably walk by, and if you were sitting on my own stoop instead of yours that’d mean you were either in such a state of sorrow or confusion that you confused my stoop for your own or you were hoping to share in conversation why it was you were crying. But it’s not my stoop you’re sitting on, it’s yours, so I say nothing from inside my own apartment, which is what I probably would have said anyway.
Originally published June 8, 2015 in Spry Literary Journal, Issue 6.
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