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Word Count: 647
A Clean Well Lighted Place is a story of lights and shadows of the coexistence of being and nothingness An old man sits outside the cafe on the terrace where all the tables are empty except then one he sits at He hides himself in the shadow - the perfect hiding-place a hide-out for a person who wants to remain invisible and unnoticed to the people he observes They - the observed ones - do not even feel his presence so close and tangible although there are some who know all about him The undisturbed and untroubled peace of night is his prime time He feels the difference then To a deaf person silence of the night brings relief and consolation after the day full of noise That relief he encounters in the shadow under the tree the leafs of which protects him from the electric light although he is one of these strange people who feel the strong need of light in the night The ill-will and aversion of one of the waiters towards the old man and on the other hand the mercy and sympathy of the other is the picture how shadow and light interpenetrate each other although they stand out for completely opposite values The younger of these two has a wife waiting in bed for him and is not very willing to stay in the cafe through the whole night waiting until the last person pays the bill and goes home That is why he is so upset with the old man who - being already drunk - asks for another and another drink The hour is what matters to him He wants to go home to hide in the shadow and to find some kind of peace of mind In this way he seems to resemble the old man - they both avoid light for both of them the shadow has got more to do with their
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