Succession

One-thousand keys jingle on a steel ring dangling from the metro man’s belt.

As a youth, he knew each key and each of their thousand doors between tunnel and landing and tunnel again. As a youth, he knew nothing else.

As a man, he knew the daily one-hundred, the weekly three-dozen and the monthly six or seven. He knew these keys and their doors as he knew his daughter’s tuition, his son in default, his wife’s midlife crisis and his own flagging faith.

Several times over, he’s a grandfather now. The doors are all gone and with them the locks. Keys and steel keyring hang in memoriam.

Turnstiles grind, pressed by the morning commute. The metro man ducks into a darkened booth and sits.

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