Gone

It was like gazing into a carnival mirror.  The kind that comes out of no-where and suddenly you’re looking at an older version of yourself wearing different clothes and grimacing at customers.  His features were familiar, if a bit more ragged.  Twenty seven years and three states later and he was right in front of me.

“Excuse me.  I…I think I’m your son.”

The old man frowned, “Welcome to Wal-Mart.”

“Thanks.  It’s been a long time, you look so different.”

The old man greeted another disinterested patron.

“You haven’t met my wife, or your grandchildren, we must have you over for dinner after work.  What do you say?”

“Welcome to Wal-Mart.”

“Dad,” more bargain-hunters jostled past.  “It’s me, Bill.  We used to live in Oklahoma, before Mom died.  Remember?”

His dull eyes squinted when he looked right at me.  He took a shuffling step and coughed.  “Welcome to Wal-Mart.”

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