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“I’ll give you thirty five dollars for it.”

“Thirty five dollars! It’s a real MCE! They gave it to me for thirty five years of service.”

“Wow, a dollar for each year!”

The pawn store owner laughs at his own joke, alone.

“There’s just not that much interest for MCE watches outside of Charlottesville. Since, the factory closed, we’ve got plenty of ’em.”

“Ok, ok. I will take the thirty five.”

“One for each year!” he thinks as he leaves the pawn shop. “I nearly went blind working with those gears.”

He thinks back to the pawn broker’s blue eyes so similar to the factory foreman’s who told him to pick up his last check and of the factory closing in the same cold breath.

Lost in thought, he bumps into the local drunk, Jefferson, picking through the garbage.

He remembers how something inside Jefferson had snapped the day he was laid off from the factory too. How he went from a stand up guy to a fall down alcoholic almost over night.

He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a five dollar bill. He gives it to Jefferson. Jefferson nods thank you silently and continues to dig through the recycling.

He tightens his coat around him, shoves his hands in his pockets, and wonders what time it is.



(220 words)