“Excuse me, hi, sorry, I don’t want to bother you, have you got a cigarette, can you? Thank you.” Timothy’s eyes were scanning the face of the smoker he’d accosted as though it had a story to tell him.
Cigarette in one hand, he squeezed his free hand into his pocket, feeling the three lighters that he always carried with him. They were the same size and had the same smooth, rounded plastic curves and then the bumpy, metallic, grooved bit that Timothy liked to rub his finger tips against. Before lighting it, he walked back and forth between the two ends of the bench at the tram stop, averting his eyes when the tall man talking on the phone and two women reading their magazines caught him studying their faces. I’m only looking for the sign, he thought, but knew they wouldn’t understand, even though they probably heard him. Three lengths complete, it was clear now that he was to use the yellow lighter. Timothy fished out all three but stopped when he caught his reflection on the side of the tram stop shelter. Continue reading