He squats at the end of a rain spout, the little boy aged 9 or 10, holding steady a blue plastic bucket. It’s early in the morning, and the storm awoke him before the rest of the house, and he’s decided to do what Daddy used to do, only Daddy’s bucket was metal and held more water, and Daddy took it with him, but all the same he tries this morning as the sky cries itself anew. “Jesus Christ,” hisses Mr. Three-Piece Suit, loud enough for the entire continental Breakfast Club to hear, scraping the blackened Belgian brick out of the hotel’s goddamned waffle iron. He is all smiles–three times he fills his bucket, three!–until the cloudburst melts into tomorrow and his mother coughs and coughs.



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