I sat on the front steps waiting for my friend Jane to pick me up for dinner. I was reading The Yage Letters by William Burroughs, and didn’t notice when the upstairs neighbor opened the front door and started descending the steps. We had not yet met, what with me being a hermit and him being a biker. We introduced ourselves. He asked if I lived on the ground floor. I said yes, but only for another week, as I was moving out. He said he was also moving out. “This is just too much to pay for rent, you know, even now that I have a job that pays actual money.” As he rode his bicycle out of the courtyard, I noticed the elaborate tattoos that circled his left leg, and wondered how much they cost in comparison. When it comes down to a decision between art and an apartment, I suppose there is no contest.

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