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The light turned red again and he still hadn’t moved, so I put on my flashers and stepped out of the car. The weight in my gut grew heavier as I approached. His hair was tousled, greasy; his suit was disheveled; his hands haphazardly crossed in his lap, wedding ring glistening. He didn’t seem to be breathing. I knocked hard on his window and nothing happened. Knocked again, the same. I opened his door and listened for anything like wheezing or strained breathing. With the car running and the breeze blowing, I couldn’t make anything out. Finally I put my hand on his shoulder and nudged him. When he didn’t move, I thought he really might be dead, and then I thought, what if he died while I was waiting to think if he was dead or not? Would I feel guilty if I knew? I nudged him again, and this time his head jerked up like he had just been pulled out of a hollow dream. “Are you alright?” I asked him. He looked at me through insomniac eyes, scowling. It took him a second to piece everything together, and then he nodded. “You need me to call anyone?” His scowl turned into something like embarrassment. “No,” he said. “Everything is fine.” I stepped back to let him close his door. The light was green by then, so he put his car in gear and took a fast left across the intersection and soon disappeared into the tangled subdivision. The weight in my gut spread. I would have to be up early again the next day for the The Program. I looked down all the empty roads and at all of the darkened houses and all I could think was how much I wanted the man to be right.


Structo issue eight  
Structo issue eight  

Our biggest issue yet features 12 short stories, 14 poems (two in translation), three interviews (authors Kim Stanley Robinson and Steven Ha...