With quick steps and a skip, Josiah Wellington exited the elevator at the ground floor and hurried to join the throng of business men and women making their way to work. Leaden clouds pressed down on the skyscrapers, making it feel more like night than morning. Dark suits topped by stern faces dominated the streets. Many of this rapid crowd spoke to the air in front of them, arguing and rattling off figures to their Bluetooths.
Josiah Wellington threaded between his fellow New Yorkers, smiling abstractedly. The newsstand advertised “War!” on a dozen front pages. Josiah Wellington waved happily to the newsstand owner. The scrolling ticker on the bank next block declared losses in every market in bright red figures. Josiah Wellington began to whistle, lost the tune, and hummed.Taking a less crowded route, a shortcut he often used, he passed dingy buildings, their windows and signs plastered with triple X’s. A man approached him, old, shriveled, unsteady, his hand held out. Josiah Wellington flashed him a smile, almost shouted “Good Day!” and passed with jaunty step.
He entered his building, rode the elevator, passed through the hall, stepped into his office. His secretary, an efficient and severe lady somewhere past forty, looked hard at him as he swung his briefcase as if in a dance.
“What is wrong with you?”
“What?” asked Josiah Wellington loudly.“Get your head out of the clouds and wipe that smile off your face. What’s the matter with you? What’s there to be happy about?”
Josiah Wellington put up a hand to hold her off and took out his ear buds. “Sorry, couldn’t hear you. Man, this new CD I downloaded is awesome. Why are you looking at me that way? It’s a beautiful day. Here, have a listen.”