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Something Unknown

February 28, 2013

He pulled the terrycloth hat further down over his face and pushed the darkened glasses closer to his eyes as he waited impatiently on the side of the street for the lights to change.

The glazier had arrived early this morning, insisting on starting immediately in order to get the job completed before the temperature rose to the scorching degree the forecasters had predicted for today.

“Hell of a storm last night huh, Mate?” the glazier had asked jovially as he had examined the damaged window.

He watched the workman intently and nodded when the man glanced over his shoulder for a reply to his question.

Mark, as the glazier had insisted he be called, ignored the state his flat was in, but there was no way in hell that the storm last night could have inflicted the kind of damage he observed in the furniture and the walls.

Mark had been relieved when the flat’s tenant announced he was going for a walk, for the man’s intense stare and unrelenting pacing had been giving him the willies.

Out on the street below, the tenant waited for the lights to change, glad to be out of the sudden confining space of his home. Mark was a cheerful bloke and his good humour was enough to make him violently.

The lights changed and he walked briskly across, slowing his pace only after he had reached the sidewalk once more. He was in no hurry today. He had no where to be and nothing important to do. The mid-morning sun seemed to slip it’s fingers up the sleeves of his shirt and caress his chest, coaxing tiny beads of moisture into exploring the skin of his neck and back and soak the dark material under his arms.

He felt completely empty today, entirely devoid of emotion. It was as if last night’s outpouring had drained all feeling from his mind, leaving his soul beaten and abused. He functioned purely on a mechanical level this morning. One foot followed the other as his eyes wandered aimlessly over bronzed muscular forms and slender curved beauties who also wandered the streets, dressed in light summer beach dresses or shorts and sleeveless shirts, or in some cases no shirts at all. Bathing suits seemed to appear beneath clothing everywhere he looked and for this hour of the morning, the streets were overrun with people who had no place to go.

He pushed a bored hand into the pocket of his jeans and gently touched the paper he had pushed inside it days earlier. He wandered with no particular destination in mind until her found himself standing in front of the newsagent. The paper in his pocket was a scrunched up with a five dollar note. Entering the shop, he emerged with a packet of cigarettes. Knowing even as he pulled the first one from the pack that he shouldn’t, he lifted it to his mouth and fumbled around his pockets searching for a light.

A man and a woman walking past him with a little dog on a leash noticed his plight and came to his rescue. The woman held up her lighter and cradled the flame while he lit his cigarette, he ran his eyes over the young couple as he sucked, encouraging the tobacco to catch fire. The boyfriend held the dog’s leash gently, his other arm rested lightly on his girl’s waist. She moved closer to her man as she tucked the lighter back into her pocket.

He nodded his thanks to them for their assistance and watched as they both turned and walked away from him. He thought again of the paper in his pocket, now joined by the loose change his impulse buy had produced. Drawing deep on the cigarette he continued his slow amble along the street.

Something black caught his eye. He moved towards the object and stared in disbelief at what he found. For Christ’s sake! The damn thing had managed to find the only patch of grass on this walkway and amazingly enough considering how crowded the streets were, no one had yet picked it up.

Kneeling down he turned the object over. Yep, it was his.

He picked up the cursed phone and pressed the operate button. The phone beeped loudly and its cracked screen flickered to life. Christ! The damn thing still worked.

He only took the time to notice that the number of messages on his message bank had risen from twenty-one to thirty-four before he stabbed the phone back off. Hooking in onto his jeans waistband, he chuckled ruefully. It looked like no matter how hard her tried, there would be no getting rid of the one thing that kept him connected with the outside world.

He finally decided to give up trying. He would have to take advantage of the time he had now. Thinking of time, he was once again reminded of the letter in his pocket. Time was the one thing that he was running out of.

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