not that anyone's asked. Eighteen years.
spit on him. Kick him. Tell him to get a goddamn job. Hold their
breath as they pass.
a kid'll toss a quarter his way, his parents wearing torn
expressions: pride colored with embarrassment that their child saw
what they did not; anger that their son has given away his bubblegum
money, their money, money they actually worked for.
those those holier-than-thou bits, white turtlenecks neat beneath
Christmas sweaters dancing with reindeer and jolly elves, even the
big guy himself.
God, of course. Nobody wears a sweater knitted with a picture of God.
laughs in spite of himself, in spite of the fact that he's sitting on
a sleeping bag that hasn't been laundered in fourteen years. He
pictures the face of God stretched across the chests of the men
walking up to him, scripture dripping from their lips, promising what
they cannot deliver.
kids busy past, discussing Camus or Thoreau; Kierkegaard
or Kafka, believing with all their minds that
intelligence will protect them.
so, he wants to tell them. Not so.
kid hands him a dollar. He's too smart to turn it down. He knows the
parents believe that he'll spend it on dope.
parents are wrong. He accepts the dollar without making eye contact
with the kid. Parents like it when he cowers. Makes them feel a bit
more important; like their money has been well-spent.
Christmas," the kid says and Nick gives the briefest of nods. He
watches the family pass, thinks of his own family, gone eighteen
looks for them every day. He knows he will not see them. He is not
starts, looks up. A girl kneels before him; hands him a basket of
does not recognize her. She is not his girl.
just a kid being respectful. Just a kid being kind before the world
teaches her how to be cruel.
Kelly Garriott Waite on Google+
Labels: fiction Trifecta Writing Challenge