September 17th, 2010 -- "Stoplight Dreaming"

He sat in white furniture by a glass table in the shade and palmed the dry back of his tanned neck. It was two o'clock on a relaxing, Monday afternoon. Blue sky, few clouds. The traffic on the corner was light. Some sedans rolled slowly over gray bits of loud gravel, coming to a gentle stop just past the stop line. At green, dusty trucks coursed through the intersection like liquid lines of metal blocks. The sun was calm and slow and humming with the movement of the city.

Ben recalled, later, after waking up, the conversation of the people around him as being light and fair. Two women to his top right sat eating tiny club sandwiches while talking about car insurance, the sweat on their cups of seltzer rolling slowly into pools on the table. A man behind him sat at a half-eaten pile of salad, occupied mostly by the soothing quality of a good phone conversation with his father. The mixed sounds of lighthearted chatter melted into a pleasant buzz, accented only by the singing noises of plates being stacked, silverware being clinked.

He looked out above the intersection to the light and the sky above it. For some minutes he sat for lack of something more pressing to do. He watched the lights change. He watched the clouds form and dissipate behind them in a constant play with the ever-changing shade of light blue behind them. Ben sat and watched and breathed in some clean air before getting up to go.


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