The night is perfect. It is the best time of day. It is quiet and cool. No superficial people, just the optimistic chirps of birds. This is the domain of the 6am smoker.
I don't know what he's doing up at this time. I can see him from my ground floor window, sipping a cigarette. The night seems to get stiller with every exhalation. Winter has left but a single leaf on the naked tree next to him. I don't know his name but I'm tempted to go ask him what he's doing and why he chooses this time to grace the silent courtyard.
From a distance I see a profound sadness in his eyes. Perhaps he's reflecting on a day or a life. On what's gone well and what hasn't. I think he's thinking about someone because there is longing in his expression. His face is young but his demeanour is tired. Looks like he comes here to escape the world, his cigarette an ally. Early morning provides solace - but from what?
His sleeves are folded up, in defiance to the cold. After a while, a look of contentment spreads across his face. Maybe the cigarette has served its purpose. Maybe the exploration of his own mind has yielded some answers. While the rest of the world dreams about sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, our hero is trying to out-stare the night. People are funny things.
I wonder who's lonelier- me or him?