Sitting with my Stephen King collections in my hands.
A feeling of terror, like the fighter in “Nona” is paralleled in me.
A ghost walked by: Round, white face, sallow eyes, good teeth, and a hunched back
On it’s heels he came; the middle-aged man: eyes ravaged with life experiences, but hauntingly expressionless. His clothes, Westmount cool; fringed suede jacket and designer jeans; unremarkable, but out of place. His pate is barely concealed by the cobwebs of his hair that remain. His deftly rolled cigarette is crooked, but this flaw disappears in comparison to the sunken-ness of his jowell-less cheeks.
Another ghost walks by; rolling its dentures in a distinctly gummy way, before joining its fellow spectre.
He is still in front of me; reading photocopied pages, yellowed and wrinkled from fingering. Anger burns across his face and flares in his temples. He tears the makeshift book to shreds. All, but the first page, that he returns to with blank concentration and throws it into the pile of torn pages, before using hands for a more soothing purpose. To rub the anguish from his eyes… unsuccessfully. He picks up his still smocking cigarette and inhales until his fingers burn at the filter, butts out, searches his pocket for an appointment to attend, and departs.
The last ghost arrives, and sits near the other shades. It’s a lively convention of hunched backs and liver spots.
by M. Perron (Originally written November 18, 1993)
Notes: I believe I may have been working at Discus Music World In Alexi Nihon Plaza at this time and I enjoyed watching the amazing people who seemed to be regulars in the food court. How solitary were some of their days, that they needed to haunt this dingy mall? I guess I was one of those solitary souls too… at that time in my life.