Counting.

Right, left, right, left. 52nd.

My thoughts scream louder than my shoes hitting the pavement as I pass each familiar crack and notch in the concrete, looking up only at street signs for reference.

Right, left, right, left. 54th.

The leaves have changed in the last couple of months, that’s all. Maybe I should take their lead.

Left, right, left, right. 55th.

The crunch under my feet satisfies my aching ears, reminding me that with death returns the promise of rebirth. I pause for a moment, staring down at a crescent-shaped blemish in the sidewalk, and smile back at it.

Right, left, right, left. 58th.

Relief is awarded with every step, and every cursory glance, jostling the jumbled fragments that seep out of my ears and mouth.

Right, left, right, left. 56th.

Of course, it all makes sense now, not that it hadn’t before. I had only been too afraid and estranged to embrace it.

Left, right, left, right. 53rd.

Surely I can’t have gone mad, my voice echoes off into the night. Surely not.

Left, right, left, right. 51st.

Again.

Right, left, right, left. 50th.

I’m home, please get some sleep.

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