Closed System

"What I always hated," he said, "were those signs. The signs that said OPEN on one side and CLOSED on the other. 'Cause, y'see, you could go into a store when the OPEN side was facing out, and you couldn't go into it when the CLOSED side was out.

"But once you were in the store, suddenly you couldn't get out, because now the rest of the world was CLOSED. You had to wait until the store was CLOSED, then the rest of the world became OPEN and you could escape. Until then, you were their prisoner, and who knew what foul fate lay in wait."

He smiled. "I always tricked 'em, though. I'd flip over the sign, just for a second, just enough for me to get the door open, and then let it fall back just as I left. I could almost hear the howls of disappointment and anger as I rushed out the door."

He took a drag from his cigarette. "That's why I don't go out much."

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The Den of Ubiquity/ Aaron V. Humphrey /