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Passive Observation

by Emma Caughlan

His name is George. He is tall and he walks with strength and height. His hair is gray but stylish, his clothes are simple but high quality. He takes his dog Tasha on a walk every day around Montclair at 2:30 p.m. during his half-hour break from work.

But it is not really a break, he spends the entire walk on the phone talking over some deal or upcoming project. He is high up at work but he is not at the top. He wishes he could just walk the dog, take in the clean crisp air of the neighborhood, smile and make small talk with the people he passes. But that’s not America.

You see, George is from the English country. He grew up in a small quaint town where things moved slowly and kindly. He never dreamed he would work in a big NYC firm and live in one of the wealthiest towns in New Jersey of all places. But he met Janine. An American woman with ambition and strength like him, except she was stronger. The life George was living was the life Janine wanted because he loved her.

Despite this not being what he wanted, George was happy. But with Janine working at the office again, the kids gone off to school, and only Tasha left to keep him company, George wasn’t always so sure. He felt it the most on the tail end of his daily walk with Tasha, when the phone calls stopped and he would pass a house that almost looked like one from his childhood…but it was about five times bigger.

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