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I was four

by come.and.go

My mom walked me to kindergarten. When we passed our neighbor’s apple orchard there was barrier tape hanging across the fence. She told me it’s because the downstairs neighbor had set himself alight in his garden shed because he was unhappy with being himself.

I saw him once. I don’t remember his face or name, only his red satin gown, his painted toenails, and my parents shame and judgment.

It’s hard for me to shake that memory these days.

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