“Looks like you’re leaving something behind.”

“No… she’ll be waiting on us…” David says.  Looking behind him because of what the man has said.  A man that calls himself Nathaniel.  After introductions.  When David recognizes a look about him.  A man who would know where there was weed.  He had a lazy eye.  His right eye.  It wouldn’t focus—he had no depth perception.  Maybe it’s what made him a prophet.  How he suppressed images to gain the truth of his sight.

“Is she really waiting?  Or just dreading the future?  That’s the thing with legacy.  What you leave behind.  It’s not really what you want to be remembered for.  It’s not really about being remembered at all.  It’s your presence now.  You want it to be missed now even though you’re right there…  No, it’s not legacy.  That’s not what a man wants.  He wants the now in the after.  He wants to own the moment, to know that it is his—later…  Do you think she will give you that?”

“Who?  My wife?”  And David asks to answer.  To let this man know who the woman is they’ve left behind on their walk.  They’re on Royal, walking north—towards Rampart, to what used to be the square where the slaves gathered.  This is where the man knows somebody.

“Do you want me to envy you?  It’s you that wants something…  She is a fine looking woman.  And I can tell she loves you.  But it’s you that’s afraid.  You’re afraid you’ll be lonely.  That’s a fear I’ve already faced…”

Nathaniel has the look of a homeless man, but as David looks closer, walking with this man—he seems out of place.  By the way he talks.  Like he isn’t taking this walk for money.  The middle man of a deal.  He was sent.  At least it’s the notion David gets, by how this man’s eyes don’t focus, yet he isn’t lost.  How in fact he’s leading the way.

“How much can you get us?”

“How much do you need?”

And David hates the searching.  These questions.  Questions that come from something that isn’t legal.  A world, an underworld, that it creates.  A need and a supply from that need.  An upper hand where a weakness is asserted.  The unobtrusive fact that what’s yours can be stolen and the law cannot help you.  That what you do is outside the law.  Outside any philosophies of mercy and forgiveness.  That you are exposed with only the strength of what you allow yourself to reveal.

“It would be nice to get a QP…”

“Hell yeah…  I can do that for you.  I know a man that knows a man…  But I got to ask.  Is it more for you or for her?”

“It’s for both of us…”

“Hah!  That’s what I thought you’d say…  She wasn’t always your wife, was she?  Let me tell you a story.  That’s why we’re here taking this walk anyway.  That’s why you caught my eye.  Maybe because you need to hear it.  That’s why a story is told—isn’t it?  Because someone needs to hear it?  I just heard it myself this last Friday, and here it’s Sunday—a good day to tell it—don’t you think?  What ends on Fridays starts on Sundays.  Or maybe what starts on Fridays ends on Sundays.  What begins ends, and what ends begins—hah!  That’s sort of the story—isn’t it?  All I know is it’s a fine day for a walk.  A fine day to tell you a story you need to hear.  I’m anxious for you to hear it.  Because that’s what a story needs to be a story.  It needs somebody to hear it—find a moral to it—ya know?  Otherwise what is it?  What is it you’re really leaving behind…?  By the way—you got the money?  You got money for a QP?”

“I have enough…”

“Good… if you got the money I got the time.  Time to tell you a story at least—hah!  I think you’ll like it.  Maybe you’ll even relate to it.  It’s a good day to relate to it at least—isn’t it?  Take up your cross and follow me…?  Hah!  Don’t you worry!  I see it in your eyes.  I won’t forsake ya none.  You’ll get what you’re comin’ for.  So what’s it gonna hurt?  It won’t hurt you none to hear a story along the way.  Like I said, you might even relate to it…  And like you said, she’ll be waitin’ on us.  She ain’t goin’ nowhere.  You ain’t leavin’ nothin’ behind… are ya?”

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