hungry forget to eat or drink took a wrong turn felt like a time machine ended up at a mall memories of smoking out front at age 12 now im 37 and high on Percocets a kid in a dead kennedys shirt alone on a bench reminds me of myself while popular kids cavort nearby distraught the kid hangs his head i tell him cool shirt DK was the first punk band i heard wonder for a second if the kid will meet the same horrible fate as me or if he will grow out of it young girl smiles i am not a pedophile so i do not smile back i have never smiled at a kid not even when i was a kid eat food hits me that i will never be a father stumble into fye remember stealing cds from the mall 25 years ago time has flown i think of stealing something to see if i can feel that youthful thrill again walk away stand outside no one looks at me i do not want to have to smile at anyone do not want to be invisible either go back in mall is closing test my invisibility sit down everyone is gone everything is closed shuttered no one comes and i am still here hiding in a corner waiting for nothing

Joseph Buddenberg

Former political prisoner and long time activist

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