Copyright 2010 by Ryan DeRome
Discarded and faded, a single candy wrapper tumbled by Alex as he waited for the city bus to arrive. It had been a long and arduous day at work and he was more than ready to relax for the rest of the evening as he patiently stood and soaked up the late afternoon sun. His hands were sore from pushing the broom and his cleaning cart from room to room and from exhibit to exhibit, his length of employment had been so far very brief at the museum and he was reminded of what one of his new fellow coworkers said to him, “That cramping should go away in time.”
Alex also realized that the next phase after the cramping would be calluses and it would be as if he wore a calling card as to his livelihood being that of physical laborer. He then closed his eyes and turned his head upward towards the sky to try and used the bright day as some sort of natural cure for what ailed him. It was the type of day that one longed for after the harsh winter in Chicago, the temperature was sixty-five degrees and the wind only slightly coaxed ones hair from one direction to another. Soon he felt the weather would be more favorable for riding his bike to work instead of relying on public transportation or begging a ride from a friend. Although the ride would be longer than what he was used to he enjoyed the thought having the freedom to travel at will and to take in the scenery. There was a small crowd of strangers congregating several feet away while waiting for the local bus line to pick them up and he listened to the various conversations taking place as some people clearly knew each other and others did not but still spoke to pass the time. To Alex it was a comfort and commentary on mankind that total strangers could still harbor some welcoming feelings towards each other even in this large city, but still he felt very much on the outside standing in his blue jeans and trusty dark green windbreaker that always seemed to stay with him through thick and thin.