The years of cigarette smoke and aftershave had already seeped in.
A letter sits opened on his lap.
Another bill. Another crumpled piece of paper in the waste
A picture sits by his right hand. In it a man and woman are so happy.
The grandfather clock goes off and he reluctantly stands and grabs his house keys. The bowl in which they are kept was made by a child long since grown to be a man.
The cold morning air surges into his lungs and he braces himself and begins to walk to the convenience store which sits by the old park.
Houses which once held thriving families long since reduced to foreclosure signs and boarded up windows. Graffiti lines most available space. A few pieces are truly art but the rest is garbage to his eyes.
On this day the old man is making better time than his age and worn knees are usually able. He spies that old rickety bench in the park and sees someone already sitting there.
The old man exhales a plume of air that quickly disappears and continues on. Times like these he missed having a cigarette.
The smoke he loved his whole life had now almost taken the true love of his life. Fighting back a few tears he walk on. He has a job to do that he does.
The cold steel weight of the gun in his pocket made him feel safe in a way nothing else did any more. With resolve no less tough that the gun he walks on. To be continu