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One day, I came upon an old Chevrolet abandoned on the side of some long-forgotten desert road. The body had long since rusted, the windshield long since cracked, the remnants smeared with dust and sand and the corpses of insects. There was no trace of its former occuptant; all documents had been removed long before my arrival.
The rust beneath my fingers feels like the promise of better days ahead.

Another time, I stood alone on a pier at night, watching the moonlight reflect over the gentle waves below. The wind howled above me, cutting through my coat, but I didn't care. Occasionally, the stillness was broken by the reflection of some sea creature emerging from the waves, or the scuttling of crabs on the rocks below.
The salt in my mouth tastes like the promise of tranquility.

On a long and lonely drive, I pulled over to rest my eyes. In the darkness ahead, I could not see, but I watched as the inky blackness swirled into incomprehensible yet beautiful patterns. As I went outside to get a better look, I could swear I saw a deer look right at me. When I turned to face it, the deer, or what I thought was a deer, was gone.
The memories of that creature burn in my mind like the promise of a past worth remembering.

I once found myself standing in a church nobody visits anymore, save for one girl who comes each morning to light a candle. I did not interfere, and let her continue her self-sworn duties. I did not know if it was penance, rememberance, or some combination of the two. It did not matter to me. I watched her light her candle and leave the church, stepping into the setting sun.
The reflection of the candle flame in the stained glass windows looks like the promise of love and loss.

I remember observing a couple sitting together on a park bench. No one else was out; the rain was too heavy for that. One had a cigarette between her lips, the other did not. Neither spoke. It seemed to me like they had reached a quiet understanding, and nothing more needed to be said. I admired that; words do not always have a place.
The pilot light of the cigarette burns like the promise of a world worth fighting for.

In an overgrown garden, studded with wildflowers, I found a box of nectarines. I looked around for who would have left such ripe fruits alone in a scrap wooden box, but no one could be found. After some consideration, I bit into one, and let the juices drip a little down my chin. When I had eaten my fill, I set the fruit down and resigned the box to the honeybees and ants.
The air in that garden smells like the promise of beauty in the here and now.

I walk through a quiet street, sodium lamps casting pallor on the pavement, metal fragments beneath my feet. I pick one up. It looks to me like the remnants of some old gadget, too weathered and worn to continue its desgined purpose. I pocket it, leaving its neighbor under the streetlights.
The weight in my pocket feels like a promise I made to myself a long time ago.

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