Strangers

Robert Quick

Where the -@!# did my muse go?

Writer, dreamer, knight, shackled by entertainment . . . and people.


I reread the unfamiliar name slowly. “Thomas Tinsley.” Repeating it three more times, accenting it differently, trying to find a cadence that sounded familiar. It never did. The face next to the name looked even less so if that was possible. Tan-ish skin. Thick flat nose. Shoulder length wavy black hair. Soulless vacant stare. Heavy in the cheeks. If this was me then I was uglier than I'd imagined. I bet that was true of a lot of us.

Running my fingers across my nose, I tried to see if it matched. I supposed it did. At least the address was correct. 2923 St. Helens Street, Redding CA. I remembered living in a dingy house on the corner of St. Helens and Rector Dr.

Turning to Veronica, I asked, “Do I look like a Thomas? Thom? Tommy?”

"I don't know, let me see." she replied.

She took the driver's license and looked back and forth, comparing the two of us. "Well, it does look like you but you've lost weight since this picture was taken. You're a bit paler and your hair is gone. I guess the eyes are the same."


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