How many cigarettes does it take to wait? How many cups of coffee? Paul sat in the dead-end diner with napkin firmly under coffee cup - he was told in that style, you can tell when someone was waiting - watching nothing out of the big, dust streaked pane window.
Outside, it was cold and colorless. Gritty wind whipped eddies of trash down a lonely street. A long cry from the sunny, warm surf crashing against the beach that he was anxiously anticipating to see. Here the sky was a harsh, cold blue - though dazzling bright, gave no warmth - only a bitter cold, you could feel it in your marrow.
Paul sipped more coffee, took another drag.
Across the street, a bum, the same colorless shade of everything else, stood in front of the Roman Deco post office hitting passerby for change. Paul looked around the café - a cavernous room and only he occupied it. Every sound was amplified.
El Paso is a dead, nowhere town.