His stomach was making noises loud enough for the woman down the counter to look his way. He was eating cheese bread dipped in oil. It made his skin feel greasy. Coffee smell buzzed through his body. Friday, first light, paycheck in hand he wanted to be gone and free of the interstate ring, heading south. They said they’d mail him the last one. “Wherever,” he told them. “I’ll let you know.”
Looking out the big front window onto the avenue, he found it hard to sit still and his legs banged rhythmically against the seat pole. The sun had been shining in his eyes reflecting off a parked car across the street. Each time someone or something crossed in front it broke up the sun flare into staccato pulses. It was annoying, and distracted him from his thinking, his plans. Then the brightness stopped altogether, and he relaxed finally, but the sudden dark made him realize it was time to be getting back to the office. He refilled his cup, drank it quickly, and fumbled in his pocket until he found the correct change to drop in the cup at the register.
A few steps out the door a cabled bus sped past him trying to make the light. He turned against it and looking back saw his reflection in the window glass. His eyes were relaxed and easy, but his mouth curled slightly, the rush of air like a wind blowing from the north, full of winter.