The old man stopped the boy on the street.

"Boy?" With a sort of tired voice.

"Yeah." With a sort of scared voice."

"Am I alive?"


"I don't know whether I'm dead or alive. Will you please tell me?"

"You're." ("Gulp.") "Alive."

"That's nice to know. Thank you. Here's a nickel for your trouble."

A Nickel, Richard Brautigan