The hallway


I am seventeen years old.  The walls seem to stretch forever and I can’t see the end of the hallway.  I am standing in line.  At a wooden table a man sits with a notebook.  He speaks to each person, but I can’t hear what he’s saying.  Some people head on up the corridor.  Others move to the open doorway behind the desk and pass through.

It is my turn.  He is wearing a non-descript uniform and wearing Buddy Holly glasses.  He looks up briefly, no expression on his face, and then looks back down at his page.  “You can leave now,” he says, “or stay and help sort things out.”

There is a heart-beat of a pause.

“I’ll stay and help,” I say.

He makes a note in his book.  I head off down the corridor, and return to my dream.

It was a beginning.


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