Bev honestly didn’t see what the big deal was. A Tupac money clip, was he serious? A sign? Of what?

“Tupac clip babe, don’t you see?

She couldn’t spend another moment straight-faced listening to his excitable musings. The more animated he grew, the stronger her urge to laugh poked at the corners of her mouth. Although juvenile, she adored this side of his personality. No matter how successful and ambitious he is, it only takes a quick bit of nostalgia for him to revert to his younger mind. How could she not marry this man? The way he attributed so much meaning to a mere act of coincidence keeps her entranced, even after seven years of dating. Sure, they had discussed the loss of Tupac after compiling their individual CD collections into one. And, although his Tupac CDs rested in the Tupperware archive, he was now resurrecting said CDs from the bin and placing them on top of the others on the corner shelf beside the television.

Haphazard conversations arose aplenty during their move. With each old room emptied, box moved and unpacked in their new premises, they talked about lives they’ve led, together and not, and fabricated their future in this new home. She wasn’t searching for signs. She was simply pleased that they had made this move, after this much time spent in separate homes. She kept silent her hopes for further progress. Start with a home.

Her laughter finally let lose, but it was heartfelt and caressed his bruised ego while her right hand stroked his cheek. He slipped the money clip back into his pocket, slightly dismayed, but knowing that he---or rather it---would prove to her soon what he already felt. He knew from experience that three signs are the charm. He was already one step closer.
When you’re searching for direction, you need to take any omen you can find. Such as an empty Tupac money clip. True, he preferred Biggie to Tupac and full money clips to empty, but his desperation was so acute that it demanded optimism. He had that half-retarded giggling feeling of the almost-damned, like his team was down 30 at the start of the second half and the coach just said, "Screw it, boys. Start gunning and see what happens." Salvation in a discarded hip-hop knick-knack? Hey, where else?

He studied his score. The portrait was of an unbandannaed, smiling Pac, suggesting sincere origins at the Tello’s in Central, as opposed to whatever thugged-out caricature the smug pricks at the Urban Outfitters in Harvard would have come up with. A good sign. He wasn’t frontin’, and neither was his Pac clip.


Graph 3: The jogger

He circles back.
He slows down.

His sight repeats the two college girls already dressed in shorts and sports bras despite the lingering chill, and the guy his age pacing behind them---still wiping the sweat from his brow with his navy t-shirt. He'd passed them all a few minutes ago. During those few moments when he wondered if what he'd spied could be real.

His eyes were deceived. Ya, that's it. He wasn't wearing his contacts. His glance could be fooled in haste. As he backtracked, however, he saw from afar that it was in fact what he had seen initially. He could not convince himself otherwise.

No tricks.
No fooling.
No kidding?

Now striding a few paces from it, his eyes dart around quickly to see if anyone else is watching. iPods and breathless conversations distract passersby.

He is alone in his pursuit.

With a clear path ahead, besides, and behind, he angles himself perfectly for a seamless pickup. At a snail's pace, he gently scoops it up, cradling it in the palm of his left hand, and returns to his usual path, trailing behind his former self. The self that took a lot of convincing to believe in a true sight to follow.