Her hand, blue-veined and small, pushed open the creaking front door, and she sucked in a fragile breath of the brisk, morning air. Her eyes searched up and down the street.
There he was. The thirty-something man in his black dress coat with the collar turned up passed by every morning. His morning walk was first on his to do list every day. He would say it was first on his list because it cleared his mind. As usual, he walked with quick detachment as he scrolled through something on his phone. He had important work to do. He was an influencer of many and held great power.
Across the street a younger man by a decade or more strolled home from his night job, his ears plugged with his chosen mind-numbing sound. He did not see the cardinal to his right that swooped past nor the golden splendor of the large walnut tree ahead. He’d spent the night making a buck, and had made his usual stop at an all-night diner for breakfast. It was good enough for him, and now he deserved a morning’s sleep before doing it all over again.
Farther down the block a young mother pushed a stroller, reading a book, while her blanketed toddler looked wide-eyed at leaves stirring on the sidewalk beneath. They both glanced up at the click of a door as they passed.
The woman closed the door and locked it. She turned slowly until both hands grabbed her walker, and she made her way to her chair. The T.V. loudly announced the latest news of crime and peace talks and weather and sports while she sipped some tea and munched on toast with orange marmalade. What was that? A president or prime minister? She really must get her hearing aids fixed. She leaned forward and turned up the sound. Finally she clicked off the television, dabbed at her lips with a napkin, adjusted the pillow behind her back, and closed her eyes. Not to sleep. No, not that.
Five minutes later the sound went out in the young man’s earbuds. He frowned, pulled them out, and examined his phone.
to be continued . . .
Images: 479px-Cardinalis_cardinalis_-Columbus_Ohio_USA-male-8_1-cc-attribution-2.0.jpg; tea-commons.wikimedia.org_.jpg