The sun was
hiding behind a nearby brick building as it began to set. The air, a bit cooler
than it had been just a half hour sooner, was now a breezy 73-degrees. Within
the surrounding trees, birds sang their song adding to the chorus of the city
around them. Cars whirled by nearly constantly, students hurried to class, the
light rail buzzed by dinging its horn to warn any pedestrians who might not
have seen it coming.
middle of the normal hurried chaos of downtown Phoenix, two college-aged men
sat across from one another, silent, save for the sound of one man’s rustling
loose papers and a legal pad of notes lay on the table. The man on the north
end of the table was studying for an exam. Holding his pen in his right hand,
he scrolled through his touch-screen smartphone with the other. Referencing the
paper and then the phone, he scribbled notes onto his pad.
The man opposite
of him also scrolled through his phone, but he had no papers, only the crumbled
wrapper of a recently consumed dinner. He wore a button-up shirt with thin
blue, vertical stripes; the top two buttons undone and relaxed apart enough to
reveal a white crew neck shirt underneath. He relaxed his back into a slightly
hunched position and continued scrolling through his phone before breaking briefly
to throw away his trash in a trashcan a few yards south of their table.
dumping his garbage, he yawned, and sank back into his chair. He picked his
across from him continued flipping through paper and taking notes.
even any websites to describe this?” the man asked his friend as he lifted his
right hand a little, palm up, so as to beg for an answer.
received a small chuckle as a response.
stopped looking at his phone as he slouched over the papers. A minute passes by
and he quickly transitioned to an upright position. As he organized his
posture, he did so with his papers, stacking them into one pile with which he
then held between both hands.
He read the
top paper to himself, mouthing the words but allowing no sound to escape his
lips. After finishing the first page he flipped it over facedown on the table.
He continued to do this with the remaining papers.
at one paper, pushing hard into it.
on, mumbling facts from his sheet to himself.
continued scrolling on his cellphone.
studying his notes allowed his eyes to wander briefly as a blonde-hair woman
walked by the table, but as soon as she was gone, his eyes returned to his
light rail zoomed by, dinging.
rubbed his forehead as he reread the first paper again.
to check the time on his phone, and took the black Ray Ban sunglasses off the
top of his head and put them in place over his eyes.
probably go. I’m going to try to finish this in 20 minutes,” he said as he
gathered his things for a subsequent time.
nodded, smiled and returned to his phone.
left, holding his papers tightly and neatly in his hand.
leather briefcase, however, was left at his table in the seat that had been
adjacent to him.
The man who
had been sitting across from him did not take notice of the abandoned brief