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"Otis," by Jack Gower

Gary Miller

Photo copyright 2015 Gary Miller

Photo copyright 2015 Gary Miller

Otis had been having a difficult time at work lately. His memory was shot and his concentration seemed poor, too. Alone in the break room he sat scratching at his white beard that appeared almost fluorescent, bouncing off the black old coal contrast of his face.

It wasn't what you'd think, he wasn't forgetful. He remembered all right. He just couldn't quite recall where or what the memory was from, exactly.

"Otis! Man, break's over".
" Huh?" "Oh. Yeah, I'm comin'".

He'd gotten genuinely lost in thought there for a minute, which was something he was ashamed to admit. Otis wasn't one for philosophical introspection or existentialism. In fact, he actually took pride in his ability to not over-think or dwell on too much of anything in particular. Otis Hassan, now sixty four years old, led a simple and practical life. He'd been working in the same factory plant floor most of his better years, always refusing offers for a higher-up position. Otis dealt with the here and now, hard work comforted him.

Originally from New Orleans, he moved his family up the coast after Katrina hit. "I'm a God damn survivor, a soldier. -Not a day dreaming hippie! What is happening to me?" He thought to himself. All day long he was experiencing this strange, gnawing feeling of deja vu and an ever increasing wave of nostalgia. A vague longing for times he was sure never even happened. Well, at least not to him.