As we sit at a table outside drinking our coffee, up stumbles a bum. The coffee is transcendent -- a string quartet, a carnival in your mouth. The bum hits us up, one after the other. Charlie doesn't miss a beat, answers with a quick brush of his hand. "Go away," says the gesture. "Can't you see I'm busy with my self-absorption?" The bum dawdles off, shrinking into the pavement.
Thing is, he'd told us two different stories: To me he said he was trying to collect bus fare to Detroit. To Charlie it was Memphis.
"Did you notice that?" I ask, interrupting Charlie midsentence.
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