Michael had a gold tooth, and i tried not to fixate on it when he talked to me. He used to be a boxer, and he told me that the tooth was kind of a trademark for him then.
He told me he was the black sheep in his family, which seemed to have been mid-sized and lower-middle class. He told me about setting kittens on fire. But don't get the wrong idea: he was very interested in the way things should be, and understanding goodness. His passion when i knew him was portraiture... he had been drawing faces from magazines in pencil, and his was the first room in the house that i saw. There were rigid facial portraits in pencil hanging on the walls. He liked to draw celebrities, and i have one of his portraits on the wall in my apartment: Meg Ryan. It looks kind of like Kathy Bates, say most people (and it scares them), and that was also my first instinct, but my second instinct was to be honored. He somehow thought i was a deep and philosophical person. He gave me a beautiful fuzzy orange plant, but somehow it died: luckily it was still orange, so looking from his porch to my balcony that summer, you could not tell.
I don't know when he left Cherry Street. I just don't know, and i feel guilty that i don't.

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