Thursday, June 26, 2008

Smoke and mirrors

The morning smoke break came after the rain. An old man, standing under the awning of closed shop, dirty and crazy eyed, fiddled with a single, white cigarette resting behind his ear. Two blocks over, a woman whose face was aging faster than her figure, rested miserably on a street bench and slowly, sucked down an extra long 100. Sooner or later, she was going to have to go right back inside. From the look on her face, the notion of laying in the street under the traffic light had occurred to her once or twice.

Gathered like pigeons pecking over Styrofoam peanuts, a cluster of office assistants, secretaries and receptionists stood out by the curb, clucking at each other and waving their fuming fingers wildly. Probably somebody brought donuts. They had the look of people fighting off a sugar buzz.

Stalking down the street, a fierce, hairless man in cut-off shorts and black socks smoked a extra thin cigarette. He scowled as he crossed the street and kept the effeminate looking thing close to his body. One misstep, a single pothole and he'd have burned a blister on his porcelain smooth legs.

A hard-looking woman in a striped shirt chatted up two rough-looking characters. The three of them were killing time. None of them looked like they had any place they needed to go and might have been veterans of the city's professionally unemployed. It's really only seasonal work, but they'd been hard at it. The grit and grime on their clothes looks like it was ground in under the tread of a tire. This was just a ten minute break from the grind, a little bit of tobacco shared among friends.

The woman laughed a lot. She was young. Happy days were indeed ahead. She looked to be about eight months pregnant.

1 comment:

Wv Sky said...

Real world observation: Great stuff!