The first time I saw him, he was digging ketchup out of a bottle with a knife. He was in his worn Rolling Stones tee and his crimson bandana held back his mop of crimson curls. He had his sleeves rolled up so I was able to see his intricate tattoos, trailing along is forearm. Watercolors lined his inner right arm but words enwrapped his left. His tongue peeked between his teeth as he concentrated steadily on the bottle, and his eyes matched the fresh mulch outside eyes he became fixated with getting the last bit of ketchup out. On that warm, sticky, summer Sunday, I knew I wanted to know him, to be a part of his world. I just never thought it would leave me in a frigid hospital bed with nothing but sterilized machines to track my feeble heartbeat.

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