Wednesday May 7th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the beggar.

So Max hit 18 months today. Which means, for those of you not so great with math, that he is a year and a half now. Which means, for me, that time has been driving on the autobahn for the last couple of years and it is travelling like it needs to be somewhere right now so get the hell out of its way.

In other news, strawberry weeding and mulching continues to crawl toward completion. We're hoping to get a friend to come by Saturday morning to help with that, so as long as the weather agrees that will be great.


Hidden beneath rotting, tattered layers of clothing, my secret hopes and dreams wait. An upturned cap sits before me, collecting donations that will go toward their grand unveiling. Nickels, dimes, quarters - no offering is too small, no token is turned away.

Some walk past without lessening the weight in their pockets. Okay, most continue on with their busy, important days without seeming to notice my existence. That's fine. Once my desires are unleashed they won't be able to ignore me a moment longer.

Perhaps you, with your fancy suit and shiny shoes, will provide the final gift that will push my savings over that final hill. If so, I will remember you and be sure to thank you in my keynote address. The world will know what you are responsible for.

No? Fine, keep on walking. I will remember you for different reasons.

Another dollar in the hat, another step closer to the end of this miserable existence. I am nearly there now, I can smell it. It won't be long now.

No, my good people of this good city, it won't be long now.


Greg said...

Heh, don't worry, the time will start to slow down soon enough and it won't seem like you're getting older by the minute with every passing second :)
Good news on the 'gardening' though! I hope it's nearly done for the moment by now.
And... my but you have some sinister characters living in your worlds! Even your beggars, sitting innocently on the street corners, are hiding secrets and evil ambitions! I rather like his internal monologue though, it's quite inspiring.

The beggar
Frost crunched underfoot and his breath hung in the night air, momentarily transfixed in the light of a streetlamp. Then it fell out of side, nanosnow on barren ground. Across the street the band were lounging around on a wall, drinking beer, laughing quietly, and pushing each other to see who would fall over. He'd been watching their gig earlier, high energy and full of youthful enthusiasm. He wished that didn't make him feel old.
Something -- no, someone -- coughed nearby, and he looked around. It wasn't until he looked down that he found the beggar, hunched over and huddled around himself, clutching a coat with a torn lining and frayed sleeves like a blanket. He shifted his balance, wondering if the man was dangerous. The beggar coughed again, and stuck a trembling, dirty hand out.
"No," he said, calmly. His tone was low, but firm; he didn't give to beggars.
"Without payment," said the beggar, and started coughing again. When he'd finished, hawking up something that made a liquid sound when it splashed on the road, "without payment you don't get directions."
He looked across the road, but the band had vanished, leaving behind two empty beer bottles perched on the wall.
"I know where I'm going," he said.
"Then why are you here?" The beggar seemed to waiting for a moment, as though expecting to start coughing again.
An owl called off in the distance as the man considered his options. Finally his hand dipped into his pocket.
"Directions from a beggar on a cold, dark night?" he said. "I'd'a called you Woody, Joe."

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, people keep telling me that. I'll believe it when things slow down enough for me to see it :P

This particular beggar got quite dark quite quickly, I'll admit. And I must say that I find him rather fascinating!

Excellent little scene from you on this one. Great atmosphere and a couple of intriguing characters. I had to look up that ending reference... and for that I thank you :)