He dragged the heels of his boots down the polished concrete hallway. Iron barred cells floated by peripherally as he stared down into infinity. The hallway never ended, and he knew that. But he stared anyways. And he walked. And he gripped a gathering of his jacket over his defeated shoulder.

The cells were empty and the doors were open. And yellow light spilled from the hanging bell shaped fixtures. Every once in a while, as he walked, one of the flickering lights would expire. A shadow would puddle on the hallway and the adjacent cells would blacken. He’d stand in the shadow and admire the break in infinity. He’d turn and enter one of the dark spaces, strip off his jacket and overalls and lay for a while. He’d sleep until he woke, get up, gather his clothes and walk across the hall to the other cell. He’d sleep there for a while too. When he awoke for the second time, he’d get up, step into his overalls and slide back into his dusty jacket, and he’d walk some more.

The man stopped and let his jacket fall into a messy pile beside his feet. He turned around and looked down the hallway behind him. No sign of flickering. He turned back in the direction he was walking. Solid light. He ran his thick palm up his forehead, spread his hand, and ran his dirty fingers through his long grey hair. He cupped his chin and dragged his fist through his long beard. The lights buzzed overhead. The man stepped into the threshold of the nearest cell, turned around and stood. He gripped the iron bars and reefed the door shut. The metal shrieked in protest. The man stepped out of his boots, his overalls, pulled off his socks and slid down his underwear. He descended to the cold concrete with the labored movement of an old man, although he couldn’t be sure exactly how old he was. He sprawled out belly down, closed his eyes, and he slept.

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