Excerpt from ‘Hector’

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May became June and the bizarre heat raged. Hills that were once green humps in the distance shed layers that used to insulate them against the fog. Bernal Heights, Twin Peaks and and the Marin Headlands revealed their nut brown skins as people all over town did the same. The homeless retreated under the freeway bridges after reaping the spoils of forsaken cardigans; sweaters, left in parks and on benches by those who had forgotten what it felt like to be cold. The shuffling, grey community of scavengers were slower to forget that the fog would be back by July. Just before our fourth meeting I resigned myself to ending things with Hector.  Going back over my notes confirmed that he had not once referred to the accusation made against him. I had raised it at all three of our meetings and each time, something had been wheeled out in it’s place. A potted and misinterpreted philosophy, his relationship with his schoolteacher who he believed had been in love with him, a story designed to cement his reputation as a man who got things done but that bored me and served only to disprove itself. I knew all about Mexico and about Torreón. I could recite the names of his neighbours and friends, I knew nothing about an accusation, a forgotten extradition, or anything that would feel like I was helping. When Hector entered the cafe that morning and lifted his hand to wave, sympathy had long given way to irritation.

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