Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Pickle & A Half An Egg Salad Sandwich

My big head is congested.

I couldn't hear very well the other day and it got so annoying that I stopped at the doctors to see if I was going deaf. He told me to chew gum and hold my nose closed and push out until I heard my ears pop.


On the way to work on Tuesday the light buzzed to let me know that I was 50 miles from running out of gas.

I swung into the Mobil station on Elmwood Avenue and was a tad annoyed when they made me plug my zip code in to pump the gas. Then they asked me if I wanted a car wash.


Finally they allowed me to lift the handle and pump the gas.


I was pumping the gas when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a young man digging through the trash across the way. He held two bags that were filled with bottles that he would turn in for a nickel a shot.

I kept watching him as my tank filled.

He was less than 30 years old.

His eyes showed signs of extreme wear and tear.

Drugs for sure.

His clothes were filthy but they were decent.

(He might have been saying the same thing about me).

He never once glanced up at me.

He started digging into the garbage can that was no more than 3' from me and now he was directly in my line of vision.

He pulled out a discarded brown lunch bag.

He opened it.

There was less than half a sandwich in a plastic bag. It had been bitten by the person who had tossed it away.

He took the sandwich out, sniffed it, then placed his own bite. His second bite made the sandwich disappear.

I gagged.

He also fished out a piece of aluminum foil.

There was a pickle wrapped in there.

He ate that too.

I nearly threw up.

The man never once looked up.

I thought back to childhood...

...being in church...

...singing a song...

Whatsoever You do to the least of my brothers.

How did we get here?

There are so many people who are ashamed of people who live like that.

There are millions of men like him.


Tough shit! Get a job!! We can't take care of the lazy bastards!!

No shame?

I thought about chasing him down and handing him a dollar or two...

...but he was long gone.

He was across the street...

...digging through the next can.

Whatsoever we do.

My big, congested head was forgotten for a few minutes.

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