Max, the neighbour

Max always seems to be in his car when I arrive home. Or leave home, for that matter. It’s his bush of white hair poking over the small steering wheel I see first. Even up close it’s almost all you see. Only his bright eyes stare out from a clearing in the mop. I think he has a mouth, because I can hear his mumbles. But I feel sorry for the words that are trapped behind his beard.

In summer, his soiled shirt will be open to his chest, revealing a smooth, child-like chest. It matches his stature. His pants are always too big for him so I’ve never seen his shoes.

When he sees me arrive, Max will get out the car and try to speak something at me. I smile and nod and wonder what mysteries hide in the dark corners of his rundown house.

He had a three-legged dog once but it died of mange. He still carries a newspaper clipping of a wolf-dog that reminds him of his dead confidante and shows it to whoever will stop for him.

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