His hands are on his thighs, and his mouth is closed, his tongue is still between his off-white teeth. A tired wisp of hair lays impotent on his forehead, hanging out of a black knitted hat. The moles on his face make constellations, the rhythm of his breathing is steady and slow. His glasses have grease on the lenses, his shirt has a stain and his shoes are pointing inward, like a novice skier slowing down. His thick-veined, meaty hands continue to hold his thighs, a heartbeat barely perceptible from beneath the muscle. The arteries in his legs are as big around as surgical tubing, those in his heart as wide as a garden hose. His lungs are inflating and deflating, diaphragm flexing and relaxing, nerves firing in a symphony, time kept by the metronome made out of meat at the base of his skull. His jaw muscles twitch as a drop of water falls on the end of his nose. His eyes aim themselves at a broken Walkman on the sidewalk, exposed wires limp against the concrete, the circuit board laid bare, gray plastic husk gathering rain.
A drunk man’s mouth is shouting into a cell phone, feet pacing in front of the bus stop. Cars slice through the murk and leave glowing trails behind them like in overexposed photos. The rain pisses down out of the indifferent, slate sky. Pitter patting can be heard on the roof of the bus stop enclosure. Kids move by in clots, their feet tromping though puddles, their twisted little mouths trying out curse words, their eyes glancing over their wet shoulders to see if anyone’s ears heard.
Meanwhile his eyes shift their focus up the street, they survey into the distance, looking for the glowing orange symbols on top of the bus. The bus is nowhere to be found.
The Walkman has not been repaired, it’s full of rain. He wonders whom it belonged to, and why they didn’t throw it in a trashcan.