Not much chance completely cut loose from purpose
he was a young man riding a bus through North Carolina on the way to somewhere
and it began to snow

and the bus stopped at a little café in the hills
and the passengers entered
and he sat at the counter with the others
and he ordered the food arrived
and the meal was particularly good
and the coffee

the waitress was unlike the women he had known
she was unaffected and there was a natural humor which came from her
and the fry cook said crazy things
and the dishwasher in back laughed a good clean pleasant laugh

and the young man watched the snow through the window
and he wanted to stay in that café forever
the curious feeling swam through him that everything was beautiful there
and it would always stay beautiful there

and then the bus driver told the passengers that it was time to board
and the young man thought I'll just stay here
I'll just stay here
and then he rose and he followed the others into the bus
he found his seat and looked at the café through the window
and then the bus moved off down a curve downward out of the hills

and the young man looked straight forward
and he heard the other passengers speaking of other things
or they were reading or trying to sleep
and they hadn't noticed the magic
and the young man put his head to one side
closed his eyes and pretended to sleep

there was nothing else to do
just to listen to the sound of the engine
and the sound of the tires
in the snow