“Smile,” says a blue-haired bag lady.
Of course he cannot hear her. He doesn’t smile.
The walk continues.
A light snow begins to fall.
He passes a darkened tavern with a life-size inflatable Santa Claus by its entrance. Grey gaunt men stare out the windows, serenaded by Jingle Bells.
Despite the mechanical banality of the song, it fills the walking man with joy. The feeling catches him by surprise.