The air stirred warm inside the alluring night. Splices of car lights and long necked street lamps cascaded their mural of illuminations onto the teeming boulevards and walkways.

Plaster walls, coffined tight in bizarre artisan bellows, cut the eyes. Bright metal slips across platters of flowing juices wading into pools from fowls and mussels cooked to satisfaction’s edge. Ceiling fans turned rapidly with clanging chains, spearing the circulation of esoteric conversations below.

A gentleman scans a literary journal in the center of the room as he lifts a fork, tipped with a wedge of well done steak, to his mouth. Two college girls loud talk their thoughts near a maw of glass. A leaned into door elbowed open as a-

“You’re late.”

“I know. I got caught behind a car wreck- looked like somebody got hurt pretty bad.”

“I thought I heard some sirens while ago. Here’s your jacket. Jenna is about to go crazy waiting all the tables herself.”

“Her hero has arrived.”

“But she was expecting so much more.”

A cart wheeled forward, carnaviled dense with the splendid aromas of fish, soups and coffees sweetened to a-

“Take your order?”

“Oh, I- Uh, not just yet. I’m waiting for my wife. She should be here at any moment.”

“Okay. That present for her?”

“Yes it is. It’s our tenth wedding anniversary.”

“Congratulations.”

“Thank you. It’s been ten wonderful years for me and probably two for her.”

Smiles and laughs pursued the gaze.

“Let me know when you’re ready then.”

“I will. Thank you.”

Eyes strive sharp into the window’s face and swallowed the rank that standstilled the patterned, pedestrian flows. A corner spilled full with button downed men, selfishing their ears without courtesy or-

“Swing and a miss, strike one. He was going for all of that one. Osgood is batting .300 this year with thirty-five RBI’s and twenty-two homeruns, but he’s only one for his last 10. However, he’s batting .400 against Percy for his career. There’s the sign, the windup, fouled hard down the third base line. Oh- that might have got somebody. The crowd seems to be looking at-”

A clock, mounted high on yellow, armed its way through the evening as the-

“What did you have for breakfast?”

“Half a banana.”

“That’s all?”

“I’m watching my figure. Lord knows no one else is.”

“What happened to the other half of the banana?”

“What do you mean?”

“What did you do with it?”

“Why do you care for?”

“Just curious.”

“I ate it.”

“You ate it?”

“It was still good. I couldn’t throw away good food. I kept hearing my mother’s voice talking to me. Don’t waste your food- sit up straight- go get me an aspirin you’re killing me.”

“But how’s eating the other half of the banana watching your figure?”

“I’m watching it get bigger.”

“Monica, you’re insane.”

“I know. What did you eat for breakfast?”

“A pack of orange crackers with peanut butter on ‘em. I love those things so that’s a pretty good sign they cause cancer or something.”

“Did you bring a magazine?”

“Cosmopolitan.”

“I like that one. Does it have any sex surveys in it?”

“No, this month they have how a career woman should organize her life.”

“How?”

“By buying magazines.”

A ravine of rustled whispers crumbed the air. The reverberation of spoons raking bowls and pacing shoes on tile whet the ears. Fluttering moths bestride the columns of light that radiate about the outdoor black lanterns moustached against the cream colored facades.

Glossy pages turn slowly as senses of imagination tongues the rim of a relaxed mind. Eyes touching words and spiriting in art that enriched the story’s cadence to-

William sat in a ladder back chair beside the bed in the night silence. His silhouetted form bent forward, his right hand gloved into her left one with tears rushing out of his eyes.

Memories were assuming shapes inside his head as his left hand brushed back her brown hair.The moonlight shone through the branch shadowed trees and rivered forth through the panes of glass from across the room, streaking a bright light across the floor that angled sharply at the bed and washed its way up her body with the edge pressed gently against her hairline.

Outside, the cold, naked trees stood still in the quiet air. Gentle slopes of snow paraded the ground with short hairs of grass pricking through the thin, white crust. The door opened, flooding the room with light and his mother came in carrying the newborn child and placed him into his arms. He was going to have to raise him alone now. Their dream of a child was now his duty alone. The plans of their life together was now gone within a few moments of their greatest wish.

He stayed there by her side, pillowing his son against his chest in the silence of the winter night until the dawning sun porched the morning sky.

“There’s a drive to deep left! Back goes Johnson- he’s got it at the wall. One out in the bottom of the ninth. That one looked like it had a chance at the crack of the bat.”

Thrashing wings of throating doves spill the ears.

Waiting eyes drift into the windows, realizing everything is more fascinating in the dark. A feel of wrapping paper inside his touch turns his thoughts to-

“How does a woman satisfy a man?”

“That’s easy.”

“It is?”

“Yeah. All you have to do is look good in lingerie and be able to fry bacon. If you do those two things you’ll have a man for life.”

“That’s it?”

“Men are very low maintenance. Like vinyl siding.”

A pocketed theme slams the crowd and a man falls into its scream. He leaves disturbed, toting a gift he cannot give, consumed by thoughts of a halted life storied complete.

“There’s a hit to the shortstop, over to second, over to first and that’s the ballgame. The final score is the Red Ponies 7 and the Knights 4. We’ll be back with all the stats after this commercial break from our sponsors and have a last word. Back in two minutes.”

And the stars stand fired in shouts of sky as the peopled city wears the night away.