I scratch my jaw

I scratch my jaw too loudly. Eyes below cap brims flicker towards me. I rub my jaw and look up towards the ceiling. It is still stained brown so long after the smoking ban. Voices start again. Locals.

A woman pushing a drip stand shuffles past. A silent man who would fill a doorway walks with her. I can hear her lungs. I carefully do not look at her or him. Her gown will not be tied tight and his muscles will be ready.

I had not reported to the desk but my name is called. Then I saw the boys were calling me outside. They did not look happy. I had to go to avoid collateral damage even though many would have deserved it.

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