Here I am, once again among my kind, half-moon high outside the window rowing its light down the empty street, parting the dark waves of the parking lot, soaking the oak leaves all the way through. Coffee shop at Broadway and Central, no booth, perched on a stool at seventy-five and counting on at least making it through the night. Everyone plenty younger, yes, but still my kind, hunched over and frowning at computers, at phones, at paper with words crossed out, everyone busy making marks or marking time. We like to laugh, heads thrown back, and sometimes we bury those heads in our arms and cry. We like to exclaim, Birds! when birds there suddenly are; ditto, Moon! as if never before had anyone seen such a thing. October 2018, miserable, miserable year swirling all around us, swindling us out of joy, and yet: there are these birds calling out, birds and a half-moon to guide me through the darkness, in a country that reels and staggers like a drunk father who has run over his own child in the driveway and wants somehow to cover it up, to bury the child behind the house. Maybe no one will ever know how bad it is. But we know, my kind, and so we sit, holding coffee or maybe even holding someone’s hand, maybe writing about how the sorrow never ends, only one hour until closing time, sixty minutes left to try to figure out how to bear the unbearable, knowing we are so close to the end. Then tomorrow, damned if we don’t show up all over again, because that’s what we do, heads bent to the task at hand: Birds! Moon! Ruin!