He cannot be but eight. He rubs the coppery inked wires of his father.
The other, at table end, twists and contorts. The hat cleft left. The unlit and unused cigarette an echo of other little habits.
Upstairs he crawls looking for ghosts. He creeps with meticulous detail. His weave. His bob. His focus. He is not to find anything this night. Again. So many times. Body aloof of the ritual.
Another wanders between the table aisles, looping the circuit. Recognizes peers at this communal gathering.
The surgical blue gloves clean the tables. Under the chemical air freshener breath, slurs and anger. The din of a bent rage. Years of movement away. Away from the centre. Periphery.
Somewhere else a dozen broken dreams revel with their bent synaptic sisters.
The tables clean up. The patron saints of this festival load their crosses. She prepares the same youthful visage of hair in the sodium vapour reflections of a greasy window.
Day by day. The only way to approach the arduous path ahead. To endure. To survive, as the gravel beaten DNA has instructed. At all costs.
How far they have to go. How far we've come.
With the hope of return for the next meal.