At Different Times by Jeffrey Zable

 The thing about people is that they just keep multiplying
 until now it’s gotten to the point where I can’t find parking
 much of the time. I keep circling round and round while people
 jaywalk in the street, and plop themselves down just about anywhere
 on the sidewalk. I tell myself to be loving and kind, but with so many
 people and so few parking places, it’s not as easy as one thinks.
 And they tell me it’s going to get worse and worse. The competition
 to get into schools and find quality jobs must be more than a lot
 of people can take, and that’s why some of them turn to crime like
 prostitution and identity theft. Every so often I get a letter from some
 place in the world in which someone tells me that someone died with
 my last name and that there’s so many millions of dollars in a bank just
 waiting for me; that they will help me claim the money for a small fee
 of 10 to 20%. And one time I responded for the fun of it, telling the person
 I’d do the deal so long as I didn’t have to give any personal information
 and bank account numbers. To which the person responded, “I can’t get
 the money unless I have some personal information, but for that much
 money wouldn’t you want to do it!” To which I wrote back, “Sorry,
 can’t give you any personal information but if you can somehow get
 the cash using my name, you’re welcome to half of it. I’ll give you
 a P.O. box number so you can send me my share.” Unfortunately I
 didn’t hear from the person after that, but then there are a lot of people
 I don’t hear from anymore, some of whom I considered to be friends
 at different times in my life. . .

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Jeffrey Zable is a teacher and conga drummer who plays Afro Cuban Folkloric music for dance classes and Rumbas around the San Francisco Bay Area. His poetry, fiction, and non-fiction have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and anthologies. Recent writing in Serving House Journal, Chrome Baby, Mocking Heart ReviewKairos, Dead KingInk In Thirds, Tigershark, Drunken Llama, Verse Wrights, Vending Machine Press, Third WednesdayFear of Monkeys, Tower Journal, Futures Trading and many others.

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