The low angle of early December early morning light slides across the bistro table, casts long, indistinct shadows across the blank white sheets of paper there, awaiting their ink the same way that the freshly fallen snow on the sidewalk outside awaits the first few bootprints of the new day. He stares and stares at the pages, unable to cobble together even two simple images, regardless of their simplicity.
Occasionally, he lets his attention and his vision wander outside, through the rapidly frosting glass and across the expanse of accumulating snow, then up toward the windows of the shabby apartments above the deserted shops, the ghosts that haunt Main Street. Most of the windows are empty. A few have thin and ratty curtains, but most do not.
In one, cracked and skewed slightly off-square, a man of about his own age sits, backlit by a bare bulb, clearly engrossed in some activity that appears, from his bistro vantage point, to be furious scribbling, hardly stopping to look up, lost in a blizzard of words.