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The Albanians are out on their stoop again. Franklin was wary of them at first; they looked harsh, rawboned, frighteningly Eastern European. They did not look friendly.

They still don’t, not exactly, but they seem to have accepted him. During some brownouts, without air conditioning, they’ve invited him across the street. They sat and drank sweaty beers together.

They’ve already started that, tonight–one of them is singing. Franklin doesn’t want to laugh, but the song is just absurd enough to revive his heavy steps.

“YOOON GIRL!” yodels Petrit, strangled, tragic. The others nod, genuinely sad. “GET OUT OF MY MIIINE!”