Not aware that he was cursed
Paul walked through the shopping mall
totally unaware he radiated
this sensation that caused people
to be disappointed in him
for random reasons
that had nothing to do with his life
but the life of the person
who came in close proximity to Paul—
which is a measure of two meters
an anomaly in America which uses inches
feet and yards.
On a day when no one sang
Happy Birthday to Paul
a woman with a device
clicking like a geiger counter
Her device drowned out her words
which appeared to be a simple greeting
on the lines of Hullo. My name is ….
Without so much as a by your leave
the woman hugged Paul.
A long disarming hug
that approximated a hug
of a beloved wife whose husband
had been away at war
for four or five years
and just now returned to their doorstep.
That image suggests
a long passionate kiss should ensue
and a news photographer would capture
the warmth and release of worry
but this woman had just met Paul
and was not that outgoing.
What did happen was the clicking device
became totally silent.
The woman speaking with a French accent
asked Paul to coffee at the Starbucks
at the corner of the street
where he happened to be walking
when she located him.
copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney