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Observing Editor

One adventuresome atom

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As I was out walking in the city last night, I spied many happy couples strolling along the sidewalk arm in arm. One young lady and gentleman, perhaps only recently met, was engaged in the happy game of making friends. They paused to peer into the window of a hot tchotchke maker, and leaned into one another as they chatted. They were thus unable to notice me as I crouched behind a strategically-placed derelict, pencil at the ready.

The Lady: So, where you livin now?

The Genilman: Where I’m livin now? Well, where I’m livin now – I like it. I live in a box, nothing fancy. Cardboard, right on the street. It’s great! Can change neighborhoods whenever I feel like it, get a change of scene. And if the old place starts getting ratty and run down, I don’t re-decorate, I re-cycle!

The Lady: You live in a box?

The Genilman: It’s environmental, y’know. Economical. It’s economental! It’s environomical!

The Lady: You live in a box?

The Genilman: Baby, what’s wrong?

The Lady: You the one telling me you live in a box, and you ask what’s wrong?

The Genilman: Baby, it ain’t like that.

The Lady: This some kind of high-class box, then? High-rise box? Damn fancy box, Tiffany blue?

The Genilman: Damn, girl. It ain’t like I went and took out a mortgage on a box, make payments on some box. I just find ‘em and recycle when I’m tired of ‘em. I go through at least a couple new ones a month. But I recycle.

The Lady: The environment ain’t on my mind here. You wanna get with me and your ass lives in a box.

The Genilman: Don’t be like that. I got money, look at these clothes. Look at that bracelet I gave you tonight. I got plenty of work, but if I’m gonna treat you like you deserve, I can’t be spending money for someplace I’m only sleeping in. So, I sleep in a box.

The Lady: You’re sayin you sleep in a box for me?

The Genilman: All for you baby. You deserve the best.

The Lady: Oh.

The Genilman: You wanna call it a night, then?

The Lady: No! Well, maybe. . . I know, let’s go to my place.

This touching scene was nevertheless a grim reminder of the hard times in which we live. How many other young men may be driven to take up boxed living in order to have a chance at love? Perhaps it would be harder to silence debate on the merits of the living wage, were it recast in terms of what might be termed the loving wage.

The Geek Chorus: Dood, this is bogus.

Myself: I beg your pardon?

The Geek Chorus: The whole story’s totally fake.

Myself: You have my word of honor that I did see the couple in question.

The Geek Chorus: You saw them, yeah. But did they really say all that stuff?

Myself: They were discussing the gentleman’s living situation.

The Geek Chorus: Right. Look, dood, I’ve seen you play Tricky, I know how fast your hands are. . . not. You’re too slow to write all that stuff down.

Myself: I may have embellished the dialogue a little.

The Geek Chorus: Nice. I gotta go embellish my EQ character a bit. See ya, dood.

Myself: Goodbye.