Timothy R. Baldwin

Beneath a Cloudy Vacancy

Smoke puffs and ponders before billowing and wisping through a window exchanging a cool breeze for the final grey thoughts of a weary traveler chewing on the nub of a glowing cigar that is soon grasped between the index and middle finger of his hand gripping a greying steering wheel while the other reaches for a mug. Steam rises with pondering participation from the mug filled to the brim and much too hot to gulp and weary traveler gags, thoughtlessly throttled awake as grey ash plunks down upon his pant leg causing him to place down with speed and care the mug so as to avoid marking up the other leg with the piping stains of a meaningless musing. Brushing away streaks of grey carelessness and dissatisfied with the results weary traveler takes another go at his mug and sips, squinting into the sunny overcast and seeing, perhaps a mile or so, the dark seduction of a stormy sky and he sighs into the air spicy with rain, exhaust, and cigar smoke. Drops plunk poignantly upon the windshield of weary traveler’s car as he takes a deliberating drag on the soggy remains of a cigar now unpleasant to puff and tosses it out the window and into the air heavy with mist as the pitter-patter picks up pace and wind pushes weary traveler’s car from side to side plunking with rapid speed drops of rainfall bringing traffic to a halting stop.

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