Coffee Break

To be published by Sabr Literary on March 30, 2020

  A late October sun hasn’t entirely overcome the morning’s frost, although there is promise: only thin wisps of cloud in a cerulean sky. Most here on the sidewalk wear the unornamented jackets or coats in which they came to work. A few wear patterned sweaters that might be seen waiting for a ski lift. Many wear hats.

Apart from the newcomer, they recognize each other as the usual 10 o’clock assemblage. They are mostly-strangers drawn from the office building by addiction to coffee or tobacco – or a few, to personal phone calls or even outdoor air. They exchange faint nods with anyone who looks up to note their emergence, hardly more recognition than if their eyes had met at bus stops or elevators or boarding lounges. Exercising dour New England reserve, even the smokers rarely share a light.

The newcomer’s suit is clearly the work of a good tailor: a dark herringbone . . . .

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