The old one awoke, cold, shivering, to the noises of the homeless heard that surrounded him. He dressed in the hand me down clothes, given to him the day before and wandered off in the direction of the assembly hall. He sat down, and waited for his turn to walk through the line to pick up his 2 bowls of oatmeal and his 2 cups of milk. The food was gone before the old one could really taste it and only then did it dawn on him that it wasn’t even good enough to enjoy.
Moreover, to his dismay at eight in the morning they told him to vacate the building, he picked up his tote bag and his notepad and headed into the cold and drizzle outside the 2100. Men took off in every direction, all having the same thing in mind to find a dry spot to spend the day. The old one and his newfound friend headed off to a place called the Spot. A place the alchemists had for the city’s homeless mentally ill, and where the ones’ whose brains did not work, found shelter and were treated.
The Spot was also the place the city’s nobles brought handouts, hand-me-downs, and food and gave them to the less fortunate. The one’s whom the nobles pitied so they the nobles by way of their giving could feel good about themselves. Some even validated their own lives by this act of giving.
The old one and his friend headed toward the bus stop shelter; here they sat, watching the drizzling rain, and watching the citizens on their way somewhere and watching the pitied. Neither spoke they just sat there wasting time, the old one had something better to do with his time besides wasting it. He pulled the pad and pencil from his pocket, and began to write. First one word then another and those words turned into sentences and finally paragraphs, He watched; the citizens pass by, the buses pass by, and time pass by, and He watched the pitied pass. In addition, he wrote of his feelings, his thoughts and he wrote of things past, and things that would never return.
He wrote and even though he was surrounded by people, he was alone, he wrote of this loneliness and his melancholy, his never-ending melancholy.
For eight hours, they sat at the bus stop a little before four in the afternoon they began their trek back to the 2100. Back to where it had started not so long ago another meal, another bed, another nights restless troubled sleep, another bout with the unclean, the addicts, the drunks, the punks, the thieves, and the predators all together, for another night in hell.
At four on the dot, the door to hell opened and in they filed in as sheep to the slaughter, one after the other. He too filed into hell. Moreover, another day was done, another wasted day in this wasteland of the north.