10:00 am in the morning

Art by Yoni Perla
Writing by Maria Jose Rodriguez Velazquez

10:00 am in the morning. He stares up: brown hair, nice shoes, nice watch on his wrist. He will do. 

He approaches the stranger. He knows he can spare some change. His nervous walk through the station also tells him he is probably nice enough to not ignore him when he talks. Every morning, he sits down on the same bench, and looks around. He asks here and there for a dollar or two. Soon he’ll have enough. 

Sometimes, for a moment, his mind wanders to the past. His daughter’s first birthday. She was wearing a pink dress and a crown. His son’s first baseball game, his first home run. He can still hear the crowd roar as he ran across bases. His wife’s birthday, and that nice dinner by the river they had.

He stares at the spare change. After a couple weeks, he has enough for the fare. He sometimes wonders how his daughter is doing. Does she still believe in fairytales? He stares at the screen of every sports bar he walks by. Is his son in the big leagues now? He often hangs down by the river, but this time it’s not to drink a nice bottle of wine and to hold his wife under the moonlight.

And yet, after that glimpse of hope for his old life back, the first thing that comes to mind is how much dope it can buy.