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When ever my old landlord would come over, I never knew where to put my hands. You can’t sit down when these things happen and it would happen often. My roommate was never home and would leave empty beer bottles in well arranged pyramids near the kitchen window. The landlord would comment on them, not to say that it was wrong, but almost in a way that would show that he was disappointed he wasn’t invited. I’d have to explain to him that no, it wasn’t a party, it’s just that my roommate has two beers for breakfast each morning.

He was foreign in a way that could have been Eastern European or Latin American depending on what you had him talking about. He liked to talk about girls a lot. This explains the hands dilemma. 

He came over once and asked about a girl he saw me come home with. I explained that it was just a friend and he stole a pair of my shoes from right outside the door on the way out. I saw him do it.

A few weeks later, I had told him that I had gotten some things stolen from the apartment and he almost started crying. He took his hat off and wiped his brow. He said, “These things happen. I once told myself I could live without shoes and then I cut up my feet outside. That was six years ago.”

I saw him once after I had moved out. He told me that the people who are in the apartment now grow dill on the window sill and sometimes give him some. He doesn’t visit them often though, he told me.

I just wish I had more pairs of shoes to pass around.

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