It wasn’t until much later that he realized where he was going. The building in front of him might as well be completely featureless for its lack of personality. A moderately well dressed man sat on the planter near the entrance and surveyed him suspiciously as he approached. No words needed exchanging, just the mutual nods generally resulting from extended eye contact. She was small and wore pastels to cheer herself up, but was somewhat bashful by nature so doubly aware of the attention her clothes drew. He sat in the waiting room and attempted to relax so that she might relax, because increased tension in these situations can compromise outcomes. Once he entered the inner office the receptionist’s nervousness seemed more warranted than he had given her credit. Following the not altogether difficult procedure he left the building the way he came, passing the moderately dressed man, who upon being passed, turned and re-entered the building.
He saw a bar across the street, and lacking many more appointments for the week, walked over and ordered a drink. The bartender regarded him warmly and made conversation about the weather and unremarkable current events. After a few drinks, the bartender put a pack of matches beside the drink and gestured to the back of the room. He picked up the matches, read the instructions on the cover and then walked to the bathroom in the corner. It took a few more minutes than he had anticipated, but he eventually returned to his stool and struck up a conversation with the receptionist from across the street. She had apparently only been in the city for a month and didn’t really know anyone, but for some reason had no problem explaining in detail all the events in her life that had led up to this point.