Smoke Twenty

Zero smokes, and drinks soju while he waits. Rumbles of traffic and subway bass. Two empty bottles on the table now. He’s been pouring one glass for himself, then placing a second in a growing pod on the other side of the table. He’s one third of the way through a pack of Smokes. The ajumma brings him rice and a small piece of fish. He doesn’t touch either, calling instead for another one please, another bottle, and some beer. Twelve smokes. Zero shuffles off to the closet to piss. When he returns to his table nothing has changed. The empty bottles and full glasses are still there. Zero drinks more soju and it is morning. His PCB makes small bleeps in its sleep, calling the wireless air. The hands of his faux-radium time-band glow softly in real street shade. He’s still sitting by the food stall but the ajumma packed up long ago and left. Zero smokes, and watches television while he waits. Day comes, and the neon dawn disappears.

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