"Hi, Fred. Glorious morning, isn't it?"
"Glorious be damned, Hawkins," he replied. "It's gonna storm; I got a cold; I ain't got my monthly check yet; and those two kids of mine haven't called me in six months."
He stomped off down the street mumbling and grumbling. His words drifted back to me on the morning breeze: "Better for me if I just ceased to exist!"
A smile tugged at the corners of my mouth as I thought: Better for you, Fred--and for all the rest of us, too!