Shaking his head, my boss told me to work harder, but when he went back to the freezer cases, I stepped outside for another break and drank cherry soda and watched the trucks idle in the parking lot, the drivers eating turkey or tuna sandwiches, their skinned elbows crooked out of windows.
The sun shone on the freshly tarred blacktop and the surface felt soft under my shoes. I caught a fly in the palm of my hand without killing it and when I opened my palm, the fly was gone, but a scarf flew out, and the drivers flicked their lights in appreciation.
Then the scarf turned into a small gray bird with streaked feathers, wagging its tail on the brick window ledge and cracking sunflower seeds in its beak.
I opened my palm to produce a roll of quarters. My tongue swiped the last sugary drop from my lips. Just at the moment my boss opened the door and shouted for me to come back in, I punched a hole in the wisdom of the ages. I knocked the wind out of the air.