Richard slowly sat down at his worn, kitchen table. The bright, teal paint now flaked off of the sturdy, hardwood frame showing patches of rough teak. He gently placed his dish of eggs and bacon next to the single set of silverware and glass of orange juice. His paper was already opened to today’s headlines.
He looked out his worn windows into the grey, foggy countryside, almost as if he was expecting someone to drive up his dirt drive. Richard didn’t have company often. He had spent the last few years preparing his dish of eggs and bacon to an absent breakfast partner. The headlines pointed to another plant closing in the town over. More people laid off, more jobs moving out-of-state. He gave a gentle sigh as he perused the story. While he was glad to have retired when he did, he knew a couple of folks from the previous round of closures that weren’t so lucky.
He took a small bite of bacon.
On the next page, he read about solar energy and how it was cheaper than gas now. The optimism and bias from the author was apparent. Richard couldn’t finish the story. He folded the paper up and laid it beside his plate. He would do the crossword later in the afternoon.
While the wheels of progress moved forward, Richard never believed his career would be a casualty of innovation. “Clean coal is the goal,” his supervisor would say. An industry that once fueled the local economy was now the pariah of his grandkid’s generation.
Harold took a sip of his orange juice and turned on the radio to the oldies station.