Frost on the end of his nose. It was freezing out there. People walked by stiff-necked as if already done in by the weather. Zombies from the shoulders up. Eyes glazed, joints set in the cold. Hands in gloves in pockets.
There is little sound in extreme cold. The hush is punctuated by the percussion of hard soles on hard pavement. A thousand drumstick rim strikes.
He’s bundled up as best he can, and he’s keeping his eyelids low – he knows where he’s going, and he’s gonna get there fast. There’ll be that moment when he enters the Monodnock Building two blocks up when he has to stop in his tracks and shake the cold off for a second or two, and then he’ll warm himself by bounding up the stairs.
Envelope awaits. He will be done after this pickup, at least until tonight, but at least he can wait for that call at home, or in in some warm place where the coffee is hot and the frost is on the outside. For now he’s at an open corner next to a plaza with no shield from the wind, and the cold goes right through his leather and the three layers beneath, piercing the skin and burrowing in, releasing itself out his back, surprising him with its ruthlessness.
He is the product of a rough neighborhood, so this only reminds him that if someone really wants to get him, he can be gotten. His vulnerability is constant in a big, cold world. He puts his head down and gets moving.