He's walking home from the subway stop when he sees it. Just lying there on the pavement. Four puffs to it at least! He looks around quickly, then stoops to pick it up. Should he light up directly? No, better wait. He slips the stub into his suit pocket, walks on.
Appalled, the writer watches him go. Why would someone like that, someone obviously well off, with an expensive-looking suit and a laptop bag slung across his shoulder, go about scavenging for cigarette butts? And that look of joy on his face! As if he'd made a real find!
The writer shudders, then opens his notebook to a new page, scribbles a few notes. This could be useful. Two minutes later he closes the notebook, slips the pen back into his pocket. Carrying this notebook around is the best idea he's ever had. Just three weeks since he started and already it's brimming with promising material - scenes, images, descriptions - for his next book.
It's amazing the things you can pick up on the street.