The floppy canvas shoes lay top down under the empty bench at the bus stop. With the rain whipping in, they would be no good to anyone soon, he thought. He debated just throwing them in the trash can, but he decided it was better to get them off the ground, so he dropped them on the bench as he sat down to wait for the bus. He couldn’t afford to be late again, but when you rely on the bus you are at the mercy of humans and nature, neither of which are reliable.

He put his hat on to shield his glasses from the rain that was streaming through the bus stop’s leaky plexiglass roof. He hated how every hat he tried left indents in his thick, bristly hair. But then he also hated his hair-just like his dad’s, only not speckled with grey.

He stood and leaned out to look down the street for the bus. No sign of it. Not surprising given the rain, but this would give his boss more ammo and he did not need that. This was his third job in the last year. He couldn’t seem to find one that he was either good at or could hold onto. Preferably both, but he’d take the latter. What thirty-year-old really wants to be living with his parents?

He paced in the rain, not caring that he was getting soaked because it soothed him to be in a rhythm. Back and forth, from sidewalk square to sidewalk square, muttering “it will be OK.” But would it?

© 2021 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.

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