Ache consumed his body. Pain grew under the ribs and crept across his chest. He choked. Winter waited impatiently outside his jacket as if jealous of the affliction that squatted into his bones. Open-mouthed breath clouded the frigid air. The only sign of life.
The bus slid to the curb, spilling black exhaust across the sidewalk. Passengers disembarked, covering their noses. The man gazed through the cloud, through the open doors, through the building on the opposite side and clear across the world. He did not see the bus wait, then pull away, sardonically belching in his face. Melting ice crept under his seat and bit his buttocks.
People moved passed him, over him, around him. A careless jostle rained hot coffee from under an ill-fitting coffee-cup lid. The drops eventually crystallized, frozen onto his unshaven cheek and upper lip. The aroma paused bewildered in his nose, unable to awaken the senses. Someone whistled for a taxi. A girl laughed from under a python of woolen scarves, startled by the shriek.