The Big City – Alex Kies

In the city my first job was to count everyone that walked past a certain storefront. And my first day, I couldn’t decide if I counted as #1 or not. I was being paid to be there, so I was the outlier. Everyone else was trying to get paid somewhere else. So would I skew the very data I’d been entrusted to collect? On the other hand, I exist and was in front of the store. I looked at the nearby storefronts and wondered if the people in front of them should be counted because they might be tracking foot traffic for their own empty storefronts. I began weeping. 46 people passed me while I caterwauled, though I only found that out later. I wrote Chad at the head office a note that said, “Not meant for city” and put it near where I lit myself on fire. Chad crossed me off the list of people he paid to stand in front of empty storefronts counting.