Benjamin DeVos

Loner

i pass a skateboarder outside of starbucks
he is wearing extremely stylish socks with skulls on the sides
my camouflage parka blends in with my surroundings
i am in a perpetual struggle to detach this camouflage parka from my soul
my phone warns that i will go deaf if the volume gets any higher
then I raise even more sound
there is an anticlimax when I try to play the song sk8er boi by avril lavigne
i must have played the instrumental version by accident
then my phone dies with five percent battery left
as i sharply turn the corner while comically puffing my cheeks out and exhaling
i end up gently blowing into the face of the skateboarder
walking in the opposite direction
he gives me a playful push before we engage in a social interaction
trading cheekbone compliments for jawline compliments
i tell him that the scar tissue on his chin is beautiful, iridescent, and pearl-like
he tells me that i have the taut face of a wooden puppet
we share the word successful until I take the word success and he takes the word rich
the next step in this cosmic development would be to become best friends
but seclusion with no external contact is how i succeed in this world
i continue toward my destination of the starbucks bathroom
to bathe and stuff paper towels into a hand dryer that I mistake for a trash bin

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Benjamin DeVos is a 23-year-old writer from Philadelphia. His work has appeared recently in decomP and is forthcoming in Alien Mouth, and the Bottlecap Press blog. His book Madness Has a Moment and Then Vanishes Before Returning Again is forthcoming this summer with Dostoyevsky Wannabe.

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