Falling Bodies

11:29:00 AM

The handwriting was hers, He had known when he opened his mailbox, but he made himself wait until he sat down before he read the postcard. As was his habit, he took a table near a back window overlooking the narrow, cobbled street of warehouses and meat packers. He got himself out every wednesday night, came here when the resturant was quiet. He liked the feel of the streets downtown, slashed by steel trolley tracks that broke through the worn asphalt, and on some nights, slicked with a bluish rain. The resturant had no sign outside, in fact, he wasn't even completely sure it had a name, but it was comfortable and bright in a warm way. Being here made him feel less like some solitary creature of the night.
Maybe it was called Plant 609, but he really didn't know for sure. Stamped on a bronze disk sunk into the concrete floor by the entrance were the words EUREKA BATTERY PLANT 609. He imagined the vats of greenish acid and tanks of shimmering mercury and rolls of steel. But all that was gone, and all that remained were great iron chains and tracks that ran across the ceiling to move heavy equipment. It didn't really matter what the space had once been, buzzing with charging devices, crisp with the smell of ozone. It still served the same purpose as far as he was concerned - eating and charging batteries both initiated chemical reactions.
The tables were brushed stainless steel and the light fixtures were caged and industrial. The interior was red brick, with high vaulted ceilings and wide leaded windows that let in the bleached street light. A waitress set his lemon barley on the table and took his order, grilled chicken and crisp fried potato puffs.
It seemed that all the time in the world had passed, and that none had passed at all. His routine had drawn him so deeply inside himself that he feared the flood of memories her words on the postcard might unleash. He was afraid of wanting her again and all that it would mean. FInally he read her postcard. He read it three times. He remembered how it had been.

-Fallen Bodies by Andrew Mark

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