The Stand-Ins

by Christopher Jug George

20 - Stand-Ins

The Stand-Ins

I kept seeing the same two people around town. First in a café, sitting in a booth next to me. They held newspapers awkwardly. Their glasses didn’t fit their faces. They read to each other but didn’t say the right part of the sentences. For instance, one read “…which started in the fall. The Saint Paul man took…” Another strange thing was how quickly they ate their food. I looked to see what they ordered, glanced out the window, and suddenly their plates were white. 

Two days later I spotted them again. I sat on a stone wall shielded by the trunk of a cottonwood tree while I waited for a bus. They moved like effortless spaceships intentionally trying to look wobbly, human. It was unclear to me if their feet fully pushed into ground. As they passed I noticed their unwashed waffle creased clothes.