He stood at the low wall dividing the street from Boyd Park. He had been walking for some time and felt eased by the breeze that blew across the grass some three feet below the street.
It seemed he was not part of everything that surrounded him. Nor was he in control of his thoughts.
He just wanted to cry for losses that he could not even remember. So he looked around, trying to guess the losses of others. Like that woman sitting at a concrete table filthy with pigeon droppings. Like that man sitting in the parked car in a line of cars parked by the wall, who turned away just as he looked at him. He guessed that the man was waiting for something that he could not provide. In this town, men waited in cars rather than where in the city they would get out of the car and wait on the street.
He smiled, thinking about how he had come to settle in this town. He did not grieve for the city where he and his wife had met and expected, at first, to make their livings. He grieved for his being unable to do something that he wasn't even sure what it was.
He felt an ache to return to his wife and child.
He walked toward the parked car with the man in it, seeing the small reflection of himself in the car's windows simply slide along the glass. As he walked, the man started the engine. After some difficulty, the car disengaged from the parked spot and drove away. He went to the middle of the freshly abandoned spot as the car drove down the sloped road, curved round the park, and pulled into another open spot.
Enough of this, he thought, and began the walk home. Maybe he was neither going nor leaving nor finding his life. Maybe the events of the past few days had some meaning that he would find some comfort in and maybe he should read a book or simply close his eyes.
He knew himself to be worthwhile and not. As he walked he couldn't make up his mind.
Gates of the houses were shut. Lights were on inside them. He walked like a man needing to think, not needing to get away; like a man needing to have the comfort of his chair, but not needing an open door, nor all the windows that opened out of his house. He needed the voices of his wife and daughter, but not directed at him.