Scene - Introductions

June met the evening content, sore at the end despite having handled scarcely a pound greater than his own body's weight. The narrow alleys sang below his room, seeping in still with the vibrancy of the tireless impoverished as that amalgam of culture both foreign and native traded away the final moments of their days for stir-fry and unripened vegetables. Smoke rolled from between his slack fingers in gullible spirals, convulsing with subtle quavers with every syllable that cantered through the open window. The pillow, pinned beneath his hand that cradled his skull, was likely beyond him in years, and showed its Crow's Feet by a stubborn mass of feathers, down, and decades of provisional additions like swathes of cotton now compressed like carbon fiber and swatches from any number of cannibalized bedclothes otherwise fated for destruction. It was June's pillow, though: given to him in nearly identical condition some eight months prior as the sole token of consolation from his alien-tongued landlord when inexact change left June five dollars overcharged. He had come knocking with one fist while the other brought in the black-and-red sign reading 'Room For Rent', with nothing else that was his but what he'd carried in his pockets. Hunched and quite wan, tired against the door frame, in those lonely few hours than transcend the titles 'late' and 'early', both, and keep to themselves, undue for man's company. June -- both incensed by resolute Fate that would scratch him even yet, one more time, for something so immaterial as a five-dollar-bill from a man too poor to notice, and nevertheless so thin from an exhaustion that bore mines into his bones for his marrow, so low to the driftwood floorboards -- he held that misshapen textile meteorite at his waist, the last direction toward which he could lift his face, and with the short, malleable paces of a domestic rabbit, let his landlord's unintelligible but soothing wife lead him to a cramped, dim, odorous home at the top of the stairs and the end of the hall. It was June's pillow -- his pillow of marble and granite and quartz -- and it carried him just fine every night thereafter.