Monday, January 19, 2015

Night Encounter

    I was walking back from the bar. It was early, but the sun was already beneath the western horizon. The sidewalks were slick and shiny with black and grey ice; they were reflecting the yellow twinkle of the overhead street lights.
    I heard yelling on the street in front of me. It echoed off the dark houses and down the corridors of the ice capped alleyways.
    "Fucking bitch!"
    "Fuck you! Did you hear what I said?"
    A man slipped down the shadowy steps of the house, illuminated over with motion censor stoplights mounted to the facade of the almost-Victorian style home next to twelfth street.
    "This is all bull shit! Don't you come back here. My mom. My dad. My brother's will fuck you up."
    "Fuck me up! Fuck me up? Go ahead, fuck me up.
    I slowed my pace and stared, bewildered by the scene in front of me. The man who had fallen down the icy steps then turned to look at me. "Who are you?"
    I stopped. "No one."
    "Well mind your own fucking business."
    He walked off towards the river. I walked the other way.
    The next day, I read in the newspaper that a man had froze to death underneath the Columbia street bridge.

Aaron C. Molden

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