by Philip Fortune A man sits tired, looking out a window at grey clouds and dusty carts and grass. He thinks he should go to coffee, but it is too early. He thinks he should do some work, but it is too late. He really doesn’t think at all, but sits quiet still in a mock make-believe of study over some notes; re-reading words he wrote yesterday, just looking at them, and wondering would they look any different if he wrote them out properly in a clean new book. A young girl stands in the same room, busily doing things. She enjoys her work, and looks pleased at the result. She doesn’t stand still for long. Others come in and there is an explosion of laughter all around the room. They leave. She goes back to what she was just doing, finishes it, and takes on another task and completes it before coffee break. The man and the girl meet at coffee. She greets him first—fresh and free as always. He replies, hiding his admiration for her. You wouldn’t think they had been in the same room all morning.