8. Friday afternoon

For a Friday afternoon and what feels like freedom. The river of an icy week runs curbside and disappears beneath the street. The setting sun casts colors of ripe peaches on the undersides of eastern clouds. The air smells sweetly of motor oil and french fries, the grease of the day and the grease of the evening. Cars blur and flash in the windows of shops. A girl in turquoise pants walks somewhere fast, hands thrust deep in the pockets of her hoodie. A woman shifts a baby uncomfortably on her hip, gazing into the distance, waiting. A man wags his beard to a silent song, his eyes creases in a creased face. A breeze slips aimless through the alley, cooling quickly in the shadows. A notion of no consequence casts loose from a wall and drifts upon the sidewalk, dragging its staple behind it. Everyone looks forward. Friday afternoon and what feels like freedom. The day will end soon. Another will follow.