The man was strange: he spoke in labyrinthine acrostics, indeed had just completed an oral composition which, if read vertically, would make up the first two thousand words of an obscure Ciceronian epistle in the original Latin. I took this on faith, for old time's sake but made a mental note to check the math at a later date. I knew this man's character. He had pilfered an accordion I was quite fond of toying around with that had belonged to my grandfather, and which my mother had bequeathed to me in the suicide note . . . but I digress . . . Out West, Indian summer oppresses; we try to retrieve shadows from nasty dogs, but bared teeth and growls turn us away, so we lie in the sun, even the grass hot and baking our backs. How did we come to this? For hours we ponder, cogitate, ruminate, any number of synonyms, but today the valley frowns on questions and most clouds are indefinite wisps.
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