There was an intimacy to the moment when that strange man put his hand on your shoulder to stop you from stepping into the traffic you did not see.  You’d been thinking about the pigeons a few paces back, how they’d warmed themselves against the hospital air vent, feathers arranged from some avant-garde artist’s imagination: Pigeons Impersonating Lions 2, and that is when you felt the man’s hand on your shoulder, as though it was the hand of that older cousin you rarely saw but liked very much, the car’s horn and the wind of it going by.

“Easy,” said the man.

“Thanks,” you said, mind still caught somewhere between the pigeons and the second chance at life you’d just been given.

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