Passage from What Kills Me: Noisy humans

A curly-haired man at the counter removed his glasses as we walked inside. He was wearing a light blue shirt with stains under the arms; his spicy body odor and his woody aftershave stung my nose. I examined the valleys in his forehead, the pits that were the pores dotting his cheeks, and the bluish, puffy skin under his eyes. Tiny pools of oil had formed on his bulbous nose. I was amazed at the detail I was seeing. The man raised his bushy, triangular-shaped eyebrows, and when he smiled, more lines ran across his face. His skin seemed to shift over his skull like bunching panty hose.

The room filled with the man’s heavy breathing and a deep drum beat.

Heartbeat. The more I focused on it, the louder it got.

I was staring. Lucas nudged me.

“Hello,” I said. The man flinched.

“Shh,” Lucas said.

I realized that I was shouting over the sounds. I could even hear the squelching of liquid in this man’s veins.

“Sorry,” I whispered. “We’d like a room for the rest of tonight and tomorrow please.”

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