A Swisher Sweet hung from the corner of his mouth. Half way burned through. Getting shorter and shorter. The fat man kept switching the small cigar from one side of his thin lips to the other. He’d tap the ash with his forefinger and thumb. Sitting beside a window in his apartment at midnight. Looking down at busy streets and neon lights glowing from bars and used car lots. All night taco stands. And, twenty-four hour convenience stores. Advertising Big Gulps and Slurpees. Ninety-nine cent hot dogs. A five dollar frozen pizza. Microwaved burritos.
The fat man opened a beer and waited. Soon the show would begin. He kept looking at the window across the alley from him. Every night the fat man looked at the window. Every night it was the same show. Blinds drawn. The outline of a woman’s body. A shadow. Firm breasts and a little bit of a gut. Long hair. A chin that stuck out.
He looked on as he drank his beer and smoked his cigar. He watched as the water hit her body. Saw her hands bathing her belly. It’d been a long time since he’d seen a woman’s body in person; up close. Holding onto it. The fat man kept looking at the outline. Thinking of what he would do if he were a younger man. In shape. Able to perform. He watched and wondered.
Then the woman was gone. The show was over. Bravo, he said. Bravo. He stood and clapped. Turned on a jazz radio staion and went to bed. It was just another night. Loneliness will get you every time.