Everyone has a hobby: gardening, fishing, cowling, photography. Some people socialise. Other collect stamps, coins, marbles, leaves. X collects good wishes and blessings. It pisses everyone off.

“Why did you just give a hundred bucks to that blind, homeless guy?”
“For the blessings.”
“He doesn’t even know what you look like or how much you gave him.”
“It comes from the heart.”
“Ah, fuck off!”

It’s Thursday, the 6th of April, 2017, 10:31pm. I sit in the middle of the football ground. He is behind me. Propping himself up on one elbow, he says, “You figure the rallies are over?”
“I’m taking no chances. Just stay here.”

He throws a pebble toward the adjacent street. “They set one of the shops on fire, you know. How can you not want to see that?”
“On the off chance that the mob is still there. Jesus! Stop that, it’s annoying.”
“Buzzkill.” he says as he flings one last pebble at my back.

I turn to face him. “How come you didn’t invite Wasim yesterday? Didn’t figure you for the rally type.”
He throws a scrunched up dry leaf at me. “Didn’t figure you for the presumptuous type. And no, he just seems so above it all.”
“Naw, man. Opposite, pretty much.”
“How’s that?”
“I’m not being sarcastic here. He just really seems so above it all.”
“Hold the fuck up. Someone you actually admire?”
“Yeah, man. He used to hang out with my brother a lot. I mean, I looked up to him as a kid.”
“Which is why I expected to see him yesterday. His cousin was there.”
“That kid’s funny though. Can you imagine Wasim being a part of the shit we get up to? I mean, he’d probably join us for the sake of basic fucking decency, but nah. It’s like meeting your hero and finding out he shits or something, like he isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Like meeting your favourite athlete and finding out he takes steroids or some shit, man.”
“You’re fucking weird, you know that?”
“Like Michael Jackson without a navel.”
“Fucking weird.”

I get up and dust my pants, then offer him my hand. “Chinese?” I ask. He pulls himself up. “Doubt any place will be open, what with it being all hell out today.”
“Guess I’ll just starve.”
“Count your blessings, son.”
“You do that.”
“I always do.”

He slaps me on the shoulder and breaks into a flat hum.


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