gray and black hair,

missing teeth,

reeking of booze,

wearing a shirt that

said, "vote no on yes."

the man talked to me

about outdated technology

while i sat there

trying to ignore him

staring at the tv,

waiting for the results

of another election.

"what's your name?"

"matt," i told him.

"matthew?" he said, reaching

out to shake my hand.


he told me that

matthew was one of

the hippest names

someone could have,

then something about

never letting anyone

call me matty.

then he said this:

"you know, the only hipper name is elizabeth."

i looked at my group

of friends,

standing in a circle,

all of

them laughing at

a joke i missed.

they had long

since stopped listening

to this lunatic,

but i had

had a hard time

ignoring him.

i wish now that

i had escaped.

i shook my head

and stared into

my drink.

what the hell was

this old drunk talking about?

of all the names

he could have mentioned,

why hers?

"yeah," i said.

this really happened,

just as i wrote it.

i've said

it before and i'll

say it again,

i do not

believe in signs.

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