The smoking man

A man smokes a cigarette in the shadow of Morty’s preferred parking sign / toilet.

“Is your dog friendly?” the man asks.

“Yeah, he just wants you to step away from the sign.”

The man smiles, obliges. Morty checks the base of the sign for messages.

“Can’t smoke at home,” the man explains. “My girlfriend thinks I quit.”

I look around like maybe his girlfriend is going to jump out of the bushes and catch him red-handed.

“I’m on my way to work,” the man explains.

Morty leaves a message for the next dog.

The man says he’s a lawyer, says he’s “miserable,” says he tried to “get out,” but how he couldn’t think of “anything better to do.”

“But I’m taking a sabbatical soon,” he says.

“Hey, that’s awesome!”

“Not really, dude, it’s kind of messed up. My mom had a heart attack. So I’m going to spend some time with her.”

“Oh. I’m sorry…”

“It’s ok, dude. God wants her to live. It’s all about god, dude.”

The man puts out his cigarette, sprays himself with air freshener, and completes the coverup with a hit of mouthwash.

“I don’t know why I told you all that, dude. You’ve just got one of those faces.”

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