life of low ceilings
The streetlights come on at three in the afternoon. Franz Kafka leaves his desk job at five and hurries through the windy plazas of the office blocks. He shivers in the folds of a warm, heavy coat. It always makes him uneasy to see so many lights and so few people in this part of town. He half-fills his room with weak, yellow light. He cups his hands and makes a well. He casts a long line of breath into the well. Damp walls do not muffle whispers from the adjacent rooms. He sits at his desk and shuffles papers that sound like fire. If he achieves exhaustion, he may sleep through coughing. He may sleep through bad dreams dropping from a low ceiling.