They bought tickets for the same film he'd chosen. He followed them into the bar and lurked near their table. They discussed their Christmas plans, beaming at each other. Bitterly watching this smug tableau he imagined them rattling through life on rails of luck and charm. He half hoped they might continue chattering during the movie so he could snarl rudely at them.
Soon they fell silent, holding hands under the table. The woman began reading her newspaper. Suddenly, her eyebrows rose. She squeezed her lover's hand.
'Wow! This guy in the obituaries was only thirty. Scary, huh?'
Another stinging cut. Life seemed a growing list of things Ralph would never do. At forty he wasn't successful enough for an obituary. But, sipping his coffee, he had to concede he wasn't dead enough either.