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Time, like veins, come to the surface of your skin and you no longer can ignore what's been done to you, the good and the bad, the evil and indifference with which you've approached your life. All the times I've spent standing around, at all those jobs that build up in my memory like blocks of cement intended to construct something of size and mass but have instead blocked my view of what's ahead. All those times I didn't hang up the apron and fluff pillows under my feet after a shift, all those times I didn't have time to bounce on the balls of my feet to get circulation moving in my legs because I was too busy trying to understand the workings of other humans at the silverware rolling station. In all the desk jobs I've had since then, my ass has never spread enough to counter the intensity these wan, purple veins have that creep through pale pale skin.

I was standing outside the other day and smoking, feeling the cold outside welcome through my worn layers and the sentence came to me: These are the beginning of the poor times. I saw it clear as if it ran across my eyes in in the digital lights that advertise the latest happy hour prices at your local bar or the outside temperature on the sign of a bank. And here I thought my poor times were ending, that there was some light up ahead, when perhaps I'd been waiting for the wrong light.

And so, I am marred with tiny, almost delicate, purple veins here and there, like parts of my personality, striving to rise to the surface to be seen, to be heard. I have been marked with age before that age would be typically due me, and for all my stretching and flexibility, for any collagen cream or meditation, they are forever a testament to my age. And I'm getting to where I don't mind so much anymore.