21. Filtered cigarette and wristwatch

paper shots 91

And now they were out on the sidewalk. Filtered cigarette and wristwatch with hardly a word between them. The steamy puff of the night wafted from the piled-up snow on the curb. It had been snowing forever. And ever. The whole city was praying for good weather, for the parched days of blue-sky summer. When kids’ eyes say, no more, please, “I’ll eat that carrot raw but not another snowman.” Then it’s too much.

The only vehicle around, a cab, pulls up. Cigarette butt winds up in the gutter, the last puff in the trickle of a micro iceberg thawing in the exhaust fumes. Wristwatch slips back under shirt, pullover, jacket and overcoat.

“Home, please” they both express with no sound. “Home.”

A splash of water from a reflecting puddle ends on the sidewalk and freezes over in 1, 2, 3 seconds. It’s too cold to talk.

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