Archive for the ‘displacement’ Category

Leftovers

July 12, 2018

Leftovers

People walked by with lunch food—paper bags and plastic bags full of food. Some looked down at the two people sitting on the sidewalk by the curb and walked on. Some gave them looks as if to ask: Why don’t you just work already? The man was not too thin, but his companion was an elderly woman. Her arms were skinny and her eyes had no light in them. Someone stopped by the woman. Would you like this? The woman grabbed the bag and thanked the person. It’s a burger and fries. The man shrugged. Take it. She opened the container and chewed hard, as fast as she could. I am hungry. I am really hungry, leftovers or no. This is food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Afternoon of Nothing

July 2, 2018

Afternoon of Nothing

She waited. She waited all afternoon. It was hot, with water going down her face. It was no use wiping it off. What would have been the point? Her red cup was next to her. She crossed her legs and looked at the people walking by: mothers with their kids, men and women wearing suits and carrying portfolios, young women with short summer dresses—all of them passed her, not seeing her. She looked down at the cup. Empty—it was completely empty. For this, she thought, I might as well have gone elsewhere, done something else. She had no idea what that something else was, but the idea appealed to her. I am tired, she said to herself. Forget about it this afternoon. I am leaving. She got up, took her bags and walked away.

 

Sleep

June 4, 2018

She sat on the white crates–one on top of another, then another and a third crate. She closed her eyes. The wind bothered her, but at least the rain had stopped. She hated getting wet. Life on the sidewalk was more real than anything she had ever experienced. It was hard concrete all the way through. For 10 minutes her mid took her somewhere safe and warm, to a place without pain and unkindness. Someone tapped her on the shoulder. She shook herself and looked to see a hand holding a dollar bill. ” Here. Could you use this?” She half smiled. “Yes. Thank you very much. I need a cup of coffee.”

pennies

May 31, 2018

Pennies

2 cents—is that your generous offer to my empty cup? Are the 2 pennies going to help me out here on the street? I am not ungrateful—not at all. Beggars can’t be choosers—I know that too well. Just think about it. If someone offered you 2 cents, would you like it? No, you’d feel insulted, maybe even humiliated. Being in the raw, as on the sidewalk is hard enough.

 

 

Zero in the Sun

May 29, 2018

Zero In the Sun

She didn’t arrive early at her site—Tuesday after the long holiday weekend might not be as good as she hoped. She sat on her crate just when the lunch crowd was walking by. It was 89 degrees and the sun was beating furiously. She thought she would faint. Her faithful cup and her sign were next to her. The sign was a little the worse for wear but she hadn’t had time to write a new one. Her thin arms were uncovered; she didn’t want the people to see that in places the skin sagged but she had nothing to cover them up with. She shrugged her shoulders and stretched them. It didn’t matter; unfortunately there was no way to turn back the clock. Her head needed protection. She bent down to get a newspaper from her bag. Hours went by. The cup remained empty. There was no food, either. How would it end—her little story? She shrugged her shoulders again. One more hour—if nothing happened by then, she’d leave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horror Floor

May 22, 2018

The floor—the floor is your home. The floor is your refuge. It is where you spend your time, whatever is left of your life. You consume—you drink that liquid thing out of the can. You drink a lot of that liquid. It goes down your throat; you want another and another and then one more. The cans put you to sleep. Because of the cans you are not you. You are not the intelligent man you once were; you are hardly a person. You have become that can.

 

Horror Floor

May 22, 2018

The floor—the floor is your home. The floor is your refuge. It is where you spend your time, whatever is left of your life. You consume—you drink that liquid thing out of the can. You drink a lot of that liquid. It goes down your throat; you want another and another and then one more. The cans put you to sleep. Because of the cans you are not you. You are not the intelligent man you once were; you are hardly a person. You have become that can.

 

Burning Up

May 20, 2018

Burning Up

It is hot; it is so hot that it burns. It is stifling. I can’t get the words out. There is no one to hear them; there is no one to listen. Sometimes I think I’ll die if I don’t say it, even if it’s to me and me alone. I have to express how I feel. I have to do it, or else I can easily explode. The outlet that was once mine is gone forever. It will never return. Now I have to make do with crumbs, emotional crumbs.

‘t

 

 

Home

May 9, 2018

There it is! Do you see it? It’s that one over there, the one with the green door. That was my home. I called it my bunker, my sanctuary. I was able to breathe when I lived there. I was free. The keys are in my pocket, but I can never go inside. My home is forbidden; it is a lost cause. I can never recover it. No matter what I do, it is gone. I have lost it forever. My heart is broken; no one can repair it, not even you.

The Scrawny One

May 3, 2018

The Scrawny One

The sun left the sidewalk. Half an hour before it went away, the woman nearly fainted. She was razor thin and the veins were prominent on her sagging arms. Her cream-colored T-shirt had stains in front. She got up from her makeshift seat with difficulty, holding on to the tree behind her. People from all walks of life go past her. She stares at them without seeing who they are. What am I doing here? Why is this cup next to me? I don’t know. I don’t want to know.  She walks to the corner to throw something in the trash. Then it’s back to her black crate. Harsh as the crate is, it’s her home