Today while I was driving I saw three men sitting by the side of the road, on the green near where the city meets the highway. They had set up an apartment of the shoe-box variety, a cardboard apartment. Signs asking for help and whatever helps, and anything helps; and a green plastic chair with the only occupant being an open can of cold Chef Boyardee, clear plastic fork protruding from the middle, and the black flies had taken notice.
A woman, I think it was a woman, strode over to the men and pulled out a pack of cigarettes from her backpack. Her baseball cap covered her face to her nose. They don’t care. It’s social hour. Morning coffee. They loudly exclaimed and took them, all lighting them in a procession. A procession towards lung cancer and further grief. A procession down the side of the road as the cars line up, waiting for a window to open and throw something out. Throwing a bone. Patronizing. Anything Helps. Any Little Bit Counts. You can feel good today.
You always hear stories about refused sandwiches and refused plates of take out meatloaf and I don’t believe them. You always hear stories about jeers and aggression, but I’ve never seen it. Sometimes a person wants to eat. Sometimes a person wants to eat more than once, and the sight of a meal, or even just a measly cigarette will make everyone else think: oh, he has enough.
Every little bit counts. Right now, someone is starving. A person like you is starving; and the black flies are doing just fine.