By conservative estimates, there are currently enough wrongfully convicted people in prison in the United States to fill a football stadium.
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(It seems like a lot of my Chapel Hill experience has been connected with bars. This was written drunk as shit.)
Tonight I went to a bar with two women and drank beer. My head is full of beer now.
I hadn’t been to Chapel Hill for weeks, and it was a strange thing, being in a bar with lots of people. I felt constricted, separated from them by some indefinable thing.
There was a child tonight, in the courtyard outside the bar. He was blonde, with huge, dark eyes. Four or five years old, probably younger, now that I think of it. I wanted to cry.
I wanted to touch him, hold him and laugh with him, show him something — just one thing — good about the world, but I couldn’t think of anything just then. I wanted to fold his mother into me, whoever she was, and love her, build for myself and these two people I didn’t even know a world where laughter and gentleness is possible, not distorted.
It’s not like a man to feel like this. I’m drunk, I can tell myself later. Maybe I should write something gruff now to cover it up. But no. It was there and I felt it and I accept it.
But all I did was walk out of the bar and go home, indistinguishable from all the grim multitude.