Another Day, Another Dollar0
Terrence waded through invisible snow, shin deep, filling his Vans, saturating his socks, turning his ankles an angry red. He trudged over the mound of frozen road slush sliding down the side of the grimy pockmarked curb. He looked up, searching for evidence of the sun, bandaged behind wispy gray gauze.
It was 73º, palm trees waving hello to a clear and sunny California sky.
Terrence, however, saw a winter gray sky blending into winter gray ground. He shuddered, the arctic chill soaking through his thin white T-shirt, seeping up through frozen feet and settling in tight knots on either side of his neck.
Terrence couldn’t remember the last time he felt warm. Perhaps in the womb.
He balanced the paper cup filled with molten dark roast on top of a parking meter and warmed his hands by rubbing his palms together in fast circles above the steam.
Two laughing teenage girls swerved past in a cherry red convertible, so close he could smell their hair.
For a moment he thought he’d caught the whiff of an early thaw, a teaser that Spring was afoot. He quickly pushed the thought aside. He knew from experience that whenever he dared to get his hopes up, something in the jet stream was instantly alerted and an even more bitter cold snap invariably set in.
Permafrost had become his personal weather pattern.
He should’ve worn his parka. But it was gone, stolen from the place where he’d stashed it behind the copy machine. Tuesday morning status meetings were notorious for random thievery.
Sighing, he picked up his coffee and headed back to the grind.