The Student

I pass by him every afternoon on the way back from lunch. I’m carrying designer coffee and wearing expensive shoes; he’s wearing a t-shirt and chinos beginning to fray at the cuffs. Always, he’s bent over two bibles, one English, the other Spanish, and his dark eyes dart from one to the other, as he searches for the key that unlocks language.

I catch the faint scent of hair pomade, and despite the gulf of years and cultures that separates them, I am reminded of my grandfather.

I consider pausing to say hello, but I never actually do so.

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