The coffee tastes bitter as he takes a sip from the Styrofoam cup in his hand. The city passes him by as makes his way along the sidewalk cradling the coffee cup in both hands. He doesn’t need to be anywhere so he just walks. Alone in a city of millions. Its been three months since he lost his job. The third round of cuts at the paper where he had worked for more than a decade. They had said things like “circulation is down” and “people just don’t read the news anymore”. Didn’t matter what excuses they gave, he was surplus to requirements. His savings were getting low now and he needed a job but no one was hiring. The 24 hour news cycles and easily accessible and free news sites meant people picked out what they felt was newsworthy these days. He could try something new, hell maybe he should sell his city apartment and start again somewhere else but this place was as much part of him now as his birthplace was. I could rob a bank he thought to himself but whose he trying to kid. That’s just not his way
The worst thing was he couldn’t see her everyday now, sure they met up for coffee or dinner or whatever but it wasn’t the same as sharing an office with her all the time, working together hand in hand. He loved her from the moment he saw her but had never told her, would it have been better if he had? Probably not, her heart belonged to someone else. He knew things about THAT guy he never told her. He hates THAT guy, everyone loves THAT guy, and smiles at the mention of his name but he loathes him.
He drops some loose change to the beggar on the sidewalk as he makes his way home. He’s spent everyday on this Earth trying help people, trying to make a difference to the lives of strangers in any small way he can but does he get any thanks for it? No. He passes a phone booth which reminds him to call his mother. He should go upstate and her visit her but she doesn’t need to hear his problems, even if he gets to the retirement home during one of her few periods of lucidity it won’t last for long.
Sirens wail from somewhere deep in the city, followed by two or three shots. Probably a car jacking or bank robbery. It feels to him like this town is getting worse, despite what the Police Chief or the Mayor say on the T.V every night. He turns around and with a huge sigh walks back towards the phone booth. He pulls open the door while thinking “Why always me, surely someone else can take a turn, I’m so fucking tired”, He reaches up to his face and removes his glasses and lethargically tears open his shirt.