that little underbreath

Earphones played jazz that evoked a smoky room full of cheap gin and a generous cascade of improvisation. The drummer would let out that little underbreath, ‘yeah, yeah’ – simply unable to contain his joy silently. He would gently smile as the crowd in the recording would applaud each soloist. He reached out in the air tapping the occasional chords. His face widened as someone in the recording stepped into dance with him – swaying in the seat gently, smiling every wider as he was led through a passionate bossa nova. The pianist let out the trill of the end of the set.

He removed his ear buds, and rolled them carefully around his forefinger. He paused for a moment, staring at them for a moment, like he was caring for his oldest friend, then tucked them carefully into his jacket pocket.

Like a magic spell ending, the speaker in the station spoke the recognizable language of arrivals and departures. He got up, pulled his coat up around his shoulders and shuffled slowly… disappearing into the hesitant morning light.