Waiting for the Library

Denver Public Library, August 20, 2018

Monsters for a dollar. Monsters, one dollar, the man advertised through a half-burned cigarette, his husky monotone penetrating the quiet murmur of anticipation. A cracked yellow smiley face on the thin convenience store sack revealed his wares, an assortment of cans and plastic bottles, some half-empty.

The man didn’t slow his steady forward charge in anticipation of sales, but another man — much younger, barely more than a boy — stepped forward. I’ll take one. The salesman ambled back indifferently and traded the proffered bill for a soda can in one deft movement, barely breaking his stride as he continued to call, Monsters for a dollar. Monsters, one dollar.

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