Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pigeon Man

He had four dollars left. He was hungry. His face was gaunt and weathered. He felt as if there was a hole right through him where his stomach used to be. The crumpled bills trembled in his hand; only four left. He wanted so much to just sit somewhere warm and slurp up a bowl of soup. He wanted a pair of pants that didn't constantly slide off his jagged hips. He wanted his brain to work like it used to. He wanted to remember the things he felt so nostalgic about. But mostly, he wanted the company of his friends. He thought of ordering a bowl of soup to-go, taking it with him and enjoying it surrounded by their soft chatter. How could he though? He imagined the puzzled looks on their faces as he reached his empty hand out to greet them. He couldn't do that, not to his friends. Wistfully, he looked up at the cafe's neon sign through the cataract that clouded one of his once brilliant blue eyes. He sighed a pained and shallow sigh and walked into the shop next door.

The bag was heavy under his arm. Knees throbbing, he made his way to his spot. A few of them were waiting for him. He slowly lowered himself to the grass and they cocked their heads in curiosity when they spotted the bag he set next to him. Word spread quickly of his arrival and soon he was surrounded by those expectant and familiar faces. He forgot about the soup and tore the top off the bag. They told him they were glad he came. He told them he was glad to be there. He reached an arm inside the bag, scooped a handful out and scattered it across his lap. They hopped around him, cooing their "thank yous". His dry lips cracked into a smile. He lay back and felt the cool grass tickle his neck. It felt nice to lay here with good company. He closed his eyes, felt around for the bag and pinched a little bit out of it. He pursed his lips tightly together and sprinkled the small pieces across his mouth. His closest friends surrounded his face and began to gently peck him with tiny kisses. Now his smile spread from ear to ear. He exhaled through his nose long and slow. His knees stopped throbbing, his hands lay still beside him and a few salty tears slipped from his creased eyes and streaked down into the grass.



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