She said she’d be here at six o’clock, he remembered. She said she didn’t have to work late tonight because of all she’s been doing at home. All she’s been doing at home, he thought.
Yes, I did, he said.
But it had been after seven when she arrived. Her lateness made him feel a sort of helplessness - resignation more than anger - although, if he had any choice, he now thought, he would definitely prefer the anger.
No choice, he thought.
I wish things were different too, she said.
He looked at his hands, the backs of his hands. He noticed the cheesy wrinkles and dark spots. He remembered how his hands used to be smooth and unblemished. He remembered how he used to get compliments on the appearance of his hands and how that had been important to him, in some small way a source of pride and self-esteem, but he now thought it silly and immature.
What’s done is done, he thought.
What’s done is done, he said.
I’m tired, she said. Let’s go home.
The coffee shop’s windows filled the front walls and were divided by mullions into large multi-paned squares. The glass was cloudy, maybe dirty, hiding the secrets inside the coffee shop from nosey passersby. The walls were littered with multicolored papers tacked at random angles and framed black and white photographs of urban buildings and busy street scenes.
He methodically looked around the room, surveying the cliché before him. He felt alone and hopeless; as if caught in the solitary