The library opens at 1pm. I’m a little early so I look for a shady spot on the patio to wait until they open the door.

I see the spot I want and approach it, simultaneously pulling the novel in its plastic library binding out of my bag. A man with waist length grey hair walks up to me. 

“I was gonna sit there. There’s no pee in that corner,” he says, matter-of-fact.

“Oh. Be my guest then!,” I say, moving. I want it to be a little sarcastic. Um, I was here first? Then again, if this guy knows where the pee is and isn’t, I don’t think I’ll begrudge him a clean seat.

I settle down within earshot of four women deep in conversation. One’s a teen. Then I realize they’re discussing the teen and her performance in school, some details of her home life. Maybe she’s in foster care and this is a social work consult? None of my business. I move again.

This is where I ended up sitting.

sad message on cement: dear past, stop tapping me on the shoulder