Hill and Hemlock This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

September 27, 2010
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There is a small restaurant on the corner of Hill Street and Hemlock Road outside of which there is a lamppost. Underneath the shadows of the unlit side of this lamppost there is a man. He is a sad man with a face much too old for his age, down trodden by unforgiving years. His hands have deep lines and cracks filled with dust and dirt from the ground of which he lives on here, underneath the lamppost on the corner of Hill and Hemlock.
“Please, do be kind.” Pleads the man to an unfortunate casual observer as he stretches out his deeply cracked hands on a regular basis.
“I hate it when they do that.” One-passerby whispers to another, carefully avoiding what could have very well been a highly contagious illness.
Never have these people stopped and asked the man how his day was nor have they stopped to chat about the weather. He was lonely and thus became bitter. He bickered and sneered at families that passed and scared customers from the restaurant as they left. They left, and never wanted to come back in the fear of the mean, dirty, old man.
“I am so alone,” said the man, “and my heart has grown thorns.” He sobbed to himself until he felt a light hand on his shoulder.
“My heart once grew thorns,” a young voice said, “and they swallowed the warmth of my heart with their greed.”
“Did they chew on your stomach too?”
“It was the worst.”
He turned to the young voice: a girl of not yet twenty, a waitress from the restaurant.
“Have you ever spend days staring at the hills?” He pointed at the view from the top of Hill Street where mounts playfully rolled out an old, dusty road and the further along you looked, the more grass and weeds grew between the stones.
“It is a terrible habit I have. I paint them, you know. I paint those hills every week, there is always something new about those hills and I must document their every move.”
“Ahh! It is the same to me! Only, I sit here day and night and I stare at those hills. I think they are on the move.”
“Away from here?”
“No, closer to.”
“I find it that when the skies are clear and blue, the light hits perfectly bright onto the lake just beyond the hills and makes the villas on the hill—far out there—look like a golden city.”
“Oh, I would like to see.”
“It would be a shame to not! It is much better that way than back down Hemlock. Down Hemlock there’s nothing but buildings, cafes, and boring people. Go see my golden city!”
“You know, I will! It is about time I depart this darken scene and move beyond these gates.” And so he left. The waitress went back to the restaurant where her manager gave her a bonus.

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