Poor Judgement

He sulked around the corner. Covering him was a red button-up ironically three-fourths of the way unbuttoned leaving a v-shaped window showing everything from the middle of his bloated belly up to the neck. Over the red shirt was a questionable and faded grey jacket that had undoubtedly seen better days.

What else so clothed this fumbling mystery? Knee-length denim shorts that frayed at the ends. Tattered flipflops. Tanned, rugged skin and an unkempt beard were his accessories.

An abundance of space in the hallway before him yet the subject hugged the wall as he walked, struggling to pull a cigarette from the crumpled pack in his hand. It was obvious he’d allowed himself a few pleasurable drinks before stumbling upon the downtown library to attend to whatever business he had at the time. I wonder if he was content with the progress of his responsibilities in the computer room before succumbing to the craving of  the carcinogenic compounds he now held between his lips.

We made eye contact for only a moment but it was long enough to see the red in his eyes as a result of long days and even longer nights, the consumption of alcohol and nicotine, and the life of emptiness that he portrayed.

I felt sorry for him.


Whoever he was.


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