joe

joe sits at a Formica table, holding a brown mug of coffee, the round tin ashtray full of butts his wife brought home from the bingo hall. Brought it home years ago, must have been, she’s been dead of emphysema eight years now. Watching the sky get light, he looks thoughtful, but you know if you ask, he will say it’s nothing, nothing really.

You can come by any time, and joe will stop what he is doing, pulling his head out from under the hood of his old ford, maybe washing up after an early supper, wiping his hands on the stripped cotton dishtowel hanging from a ring on the counter. Always coffee on, and you can sit at that table with him, wrap your hands round a thick brown china mug, steaming and bitter, watch the sky get light, and know that it will simply be ok.