kelly finished his sandwich and his can of dr pepper.
murphy had still not moved from the chair in which he was slouched.
“i think you better go, murph, if you got nothing else to say.”
“i’m going, man, i’m going.”
kelly got up. he tossed the empty can of doctor pepper and the wrapper the sandwich had been in in a little wastebasket beside the refrigerator. he put the second sandwich and the second can of dr pepper in the refrigerator.
kelly thought murphy was going to ask hm for the second sandwich and maybe for the second can of dr pepper but instead he said, “you don’t recycle?”
“you just threw the can in the wastebasket, man. a good citizen like you, with a job and all, i figured you would be the kind of person who recycled, that’s all.”
“well, excuse me.”
“i’m not criticizing, i am just making an observation.”
“really. well, i have another observation. why don’t you get going?”
“that’s not an observation, it’s a suggestion.”
“all right, it’s a suggestion, and i am making it.” kelly closed the refrigerator door and returned to his seat.
murphy still showed no sign of getting up. “can i tell you something, man?”
“i guess, since you are so determined.”
“it is something i have never told anybody before.”
“in that case i can’t wait to hear it.”
“no, i’m serious.”
“then seriously tell me.”
“i am the saddest person who ever lived.”
“you don’t say so.”
“i do say so.”
“why is that, because you’re so ugly?”
“well, that is part of it. but be that as it may, there are people uglier than me who are not as sad as me.”
“why are you telling me this, you want me to make you not so sad?”
“no, i just wanted to tell somebody. i just had to tell somebody, that’s all.”
“all right, you told me. i am flattered that you chose me to be your confidant.”
“that’s all right, brother. you are welcome.”
murphy got up. he headed for the door.
just before he got to the door, he turned back to kelly.
“you are sure you are not interested in what joe b had to say?”
kelly did not turn around. “positive.”
“all right.” murphy went out and closed the door behind him.
kelly listened. he could not hear murphy walking down the stairs. maybe he was walking softly, but…
if murphy was waiting out in the hall, kelly really did not want to confront him and look at his sad face again.
kelly went over to the room’s only window.
he looked down at the street and waited. he noticed that it had started to snow.
just when he was about to give up and look to see if murphy was waiting outside the door, murphy finally appeared on the street below.
kelly saw murphy cross the street.
he watched as murphy headed uptown with his head down, the wind blowing snow in his face.