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would certainly be ironic, to say the least, for him to be popped by Inspector Maguire after all those years. Busted for stealing some fucking meat! "Hot damn, Vietnam!" as the man said.

Emmett snatched a giant orange from a fruit stand outside an Italian grocery store and continued along Bleecker Street, deftly turning the fruit over and over with the tips of his fingers, peeling it in such a way that the rind remained intact--a two-foot-long streamer of bright orange skin which would have made Ilse Koch proud. He tossed it into someone's garbage can and bit into the pulp, noisily sucking the juice from the fruit and letting it drip down his chin and squirt up his nose. When he finished off the orange, he licked his lips to savor the last of it, and dangled his forearms away from his body, flapping his wrist-limp hands in the crisp cool air to shake them dry. A little further along the 300 block of Bleecker Street, he scooped up a ball of shaved ice from a fish stand in a market and washed away the stickiness.

Emmett enjoyed the afternoon alone among the trucks and stalls in the lower west side of Greenwich Village marketplace which was about to be relocated to the Hunt's Point district of the Bronx. He had been surrounded and hounded by people whom he didn't know ever since he came out of his seclusion at Candy's place a few weeks ago, and today was the first time he really had all to himself. He liked being alone, and he guessed it was because he didn't feel as lonely when he was all by himself which was sort of selfish, but fuck it! It was better than being encircled by lots of people who were all looking at him, hanging on his every word without really caring or understanding what it was he was actually saying. That's when he really felt the almost overwhelming loneliness, which often filled him with despair and a desperate longing for a good woman, a home and some kids to love and be loved by--his own family in a small house in the South of France or in the Southwest of the United States. But it always seemed too much for him to ask, when so much that should have been done in the Book of Revelations wasn't done and now had to be done, so there would finally be something new under the sun. Anyway, he would probably just get bored with a family of his own and blow it. He was still too young, after all, to feel as old as he fe]t.

His thoughts were suddenly interrupted by someone shouting his name from across Bleecker Street, and he turned to see a young couple crossing over to him from Liberty House, a storefront enterprise that had been organized by the remarkable black woman Fan [end page 341]


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