Like one of the seven dwarves he whistles as he works. He would have been called Lonely, if he had been a dwarf. But he isn’t quite that short. He tells everyone he is 5’5”, but his doctors know better.
He works at a computer company deep in the Outer-Borough. He takes the
When he leaves his house, the streets are gray and sky is silent and the world is too much with us. But not him. Shouldering a grimy black messenger bag, he sips his morning coffee, scalding his tongue and dulling his already dull taste-buds.
He is a comforting sight. Papers spill from his bag. Stains bloom on his almost-but-not-quite-dirty-enough-to-was
He is jolted awake by a sharp turn one stop before his. He sits up bleary-eyed and pushes his glasses up his nose, only to have them slide down again. He ignores them. Awkwardly, he gathers the papers that have fallen from his bag into his arms, and stumbles off the train.
The streets are still dark. He’s the first one there this morning. He’s the first one there every morning. His two colleagues are late risers, although, you could hardly call them colleagues. They breathe the same air; share the same space, this is all.
He sidles up to the door and shoves it until it squeaks open. Dropping his papers on the floor, he turns to his computer and begins another day.
At 7:31 he closes the door behind him. The first to arrive and the last to leave, he rarely thinks to complain though; it is natural that he should start and end the day alone.
The 7:42 train is late. The platform is grimy. Someone has spilled their drink, adding insult to injury, and making the station dirty, wet, and filled with the pungent odor of curding milk. When the train appears he boards it and sits without so much as a glance at the other passengers. Their eyes pass over him for he is unimportant, impenetrable, unremarkable.
The train takes longer in the evenings. He thinks it must have something to do with the hordes of people, but supposes he should be used to it. After all, one cannot live in a big city and expect the oppressive choking sound and heat to pass you over. Sound and heat after all attack indiscriminately. He does exist, after all, despite all signs pointing away.
He reaches his station and steps out into the chilly night. Whistling tunelessly, he ambles down the street, papers dotting the sidewalk like rose petals at a wedding. He is thinking what he’ll have for dinner—beef or chicken. His eyes follow the feet of those who pass him, the wind blowing a wave of leaves that dance about his feet.
He decides on beef.