When he first walked in, I barely noticed. His face was red from exertion, sweat beading, dripping down his neck.

“Hot out there?” the girl sitting next to me asked him.

He looked up with wild eyes, like a feral beast approached by an unfamiliar animal. Eyes moved quickly, furtively.

“Uh. Yea. Hot” he mumbled.

He was young, face still round, but arms tightly decorated with tattoos. And he muttered to himself fiercely. A quiet fury.

His hands and fingernails were caked with black in the creases, around the edges. As he hurriedly stood to leave I noticed a gaggle of bags surrounding his feet. Tattered bags stuffed with blankets, jackets, sweatshirts. He rushed outside throwing down his trove, shaking hands fumbling to light a cigarette.

With a frantic energy he paced back and forth in front of the window, pausing to take quick drags from his lit cigarette. Eyes cast down at his cell phone, he seemed to scroll angrily, finger jabbing, stabbing, dragging.

A pause. A still moment. Eyes staring, cigarette dangling. A thin curl of smoke.

And then he was gone.

Comments are closed here.