An older man in a blue sweatshirt jacket swung across the sidewalk in front of me, blowing his nose as he walked. I waited until I was behind him. “Excuse me,” I said.

I could hear him summoning something from somewhere deep. Turning his head, he noticed me and then swerved. I strode past.

Several steps later, I heard him speak. “Just say excuse me,” he said.

I stopped and turned in the middle of the sidewalk. “I did,” I said after several seconds, “you didn’t hear me?”

He waved his hands in front of his face and chest, and I walked away.

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