When I was a kid, I picked my scabs. I was a picker, that I was. I'm still a picker, really, working on my hangnails and the coarse black hairs that grow out of the mole on my neck. And I still like to dig at a scab here and there.

Thing is, when you keep picking at some injury, it takes forever to heal. It leaves the skin discolored and a little ripple in the once-smooth surface appears.

The morning is cold and alone, with a hard light falling through the pale curtains to the sound of a broken muffler involved with parallel parking. He wakes to this, knowing nothing of the previous six hours and how they have conspired against him. He scratches at a scab on his elbow and rolls back the blankets.


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