Have The Time?

The approaching man had unkempt hair, with scruffy edges on his shirt collar and pant cuffs. He looked as if his life had been fraying for a while. The sweat-lined clothes rested against indeterminate dark skin, which was made even darker by countless days out in the sun. Such days were perhaps not voluntary.

He leaned sideways a little to make eye contact. “Hey, man, little favor?”

I maintained a brisk pace, glazing my eyes over to try to appear that I looked past him. “Sorry, can’t help you.”

The man stopped and stiffened. He squared his shoulder, an initial wave of shock or indignation receding into habit. “Just wanted to know the time,” he mumbled, more to himself.

As he walked past, I wanted to convince him that I knew what had happened. To apologize and make it right. But my phone battery had died, and I stopped wearing a watch long ago, since I figured with technology and advancement I was past all of that.

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