Running late, he had missed breakfast but was able to pour a coffee into his tin bottle just before heading out of the door. He had let out a long breath over the fact of it when he placed it into the cup holster after taking a last sip before ignition. The hazelnut flavored liquid was a needed routine, without it the knowing always created a hurtle for him which carried throughout the day.
Exiting, his tie caught in the car door as he closed it. He was late to catch the train, it took him a slight pause to settle his irritation of the moment before deciding to press on. He hoped he wouldn’t be too late as his hard bottomed slick shoes tapped at the concrete in a cadence beneath him. He huffed as his heart started to beat slightly faster, the sun was beginning to peak, and he began to feel slight perspiration under his thin buttoned shirt. It wasn’t long before he started off on a slow jog, strafing and weaving through the pedestrians on the pathway.
Finally before the train, he hopped into it’s doors mere seconds before they closed, there was a seat available right ahead of him beside a nurse and a man with a large sax case between his legs. Someone was eating a bagel nearby, he could smell the warm aroma of the cream cheese, it was murder for his empty stomach which started to groan in displeasure. Another sip of coffee from his tin, he swiped through his phone, his spreadsheet app, the plethora of planned discussion ordered for the day, an urgent meeting to start. The thoughts in his head drowned out the sounds of the train leaving, the murmuring around him. He lay his head back against the glass of the window, his day had started-off fifteen minutes behind what it needed to have been.
Finally in his office, he took a large bite out of an egg, and bagel sandwich stuffing his mouth. Salsa leaked from the sandwiches bottom onto wax paper wrapping. His email was packed with unopened mail dated for the morning, one marked urgent that indicated the meeting happening in nine minutes, a presentation he had been designated to give, whereas he was currently sitting a mouth full two floors below the area of interest.
His head began a slow throb, another bite, another sip of coffee. A glance at a framed quote on the wall on the right near the city view windows,
A chime on his phone knocked him from his lingering glare, a reminder of the meeting which was now happening in five minutes. He shot up from his seat with a speed that left it spinning as he went out the door.
Whisking his way down the hallway still swiping, phone in hand, he almost ran into the janitor mopping the tiles. He turned and gave a short apology, a polite smile, but then paused. He looked at the man’s clothes, a brown jumpsuit and remembered back to a time when he used to wear a similar getup. There was an awkward silence, before he broke the moment and checked at his phone again: two minutes left now.
Briskly, he stepped out the elevator, two floors up, and began down the hall phone still in hand. He passed the desk receptionist, she smiled and had tried to say something, but he had been in too much of a hurry to listen. Once at the meeting door, he stopped, noticing there were none inside, but at the door there was a note instead, which read:
“Meeting canceled, until next week. In the meantime, enjoy the doughnuts and coffee brought in from the new bakery shop down the street. Coffee, and fruit as well. Thank Marley.”
He sighed, leaning back his phone almost but slipped from his wet palm to the floor. He opened the door, and immediately was welcomed with a rainbow assortment of decadence, splendor right before him. He plopped down at the first available seat, grabbed a plate with his left hand and laughed under his breath. His first choice, a puffy, powered, and sugared jelly doughnut. He took his attention to the large windowed wall and smiled looking out to the clouds feeling as if he stood right before them in the sky. He was above all worries, and could only then think of one word as his stress gave way to strawberry filling:
“Clarity.” And that was all.
P: Andrea Natali