Smoke Break

The city is painted with the half lifeless bodies of what we once were

wasted in every sense of the word

I sit by a man double my age, deemed half my worth, eyes that have seen more life than I, and a spirit who is of the same caliber

"Gotta smoke, miss?"

The bench is worn, it's paint is chipping.

There is gum on the ground, casually collecting dust and dirt.

The cars pass us by without a second glance, in their air conditioned leather seats, NPR floating out from their tinted windows in a soothing news gravel

It is hot out, too hot to think clearly really, one of those days where you cannot do much but sit and contemplate your life because even that is exuding too much effort and you simply do not have the energy to expel.

He has not washed in what seems like awhile, perhaps days, even though this heat must make him miserable.

I hand him a smoke, and take one for myself.

Breathe in, glance at him again and then resume staring at the street, exhale.

He had a family once. He had a job, a career maybe, at least a shower to call his own.

This is my city. He is as much a part as me.

I wonder if he sat next to an old alcholic when he was my age, twenty some odd years back, and wondered how one would reach the end that that man did.

Perhaps one day I will be on the left side of this chipped bench, casually curious as to the flavor of this dirt covered gum, asking for only a cigarette because I know you wouldn't give me anything more than that.




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