it is my friend’s birthday today. i don’t know that i’ve met him, but i have followed in his footsteps. at least the ones that led to that town. the town of my rebirth. they were all waiting there huddled in the square holding vigil for my return. yet i had never been there nor left. they gave me blankets and a wife and children. they fed me soup made of beans and let me in on some lyrical prose that loosened the edges and gave me purchase. i thank him every day and make soup for others with tears from the times i am happy.