Ken Will Help You Move

The bartender went over to the jukebox and put on some Commodores. Ken encouraged me to talk to her and the other people sitting around us, but I felt an overwhelming sense of not belonging. It was strange, and sudden. Will this always happen if I don't drink when I go out? Or was it because I was in a neighborhood bar that wasn't in my own neighborhood?

"I want to go," I said to Ken — my rescuer, my limo driver, my mover, my friend. He didn't want to leave without meeting people first, but he could see that I was anxious. I wasn't in the mood for the forced camaraderie that comes from drinking. I wanted something real. Something ... like Ebn Ozn being played really loud over Ken's speakers.

We left a big tip and nodded to everyone as we walked out. I hoisted myself into Ken's car and pulled up some Jimmy Cliff: "Many Rivers to Cross."

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