Thursday, March 12, 2009

a short story...

The Curb

Jim and Teardrop sat on the curb drinking generic mouthwash from a large plastic bottle. they passed it back and forth, quickly, until it was gone. Jim tossed it to the side after holding it up to the light, letting the sunshine filter thru the thin film of alchohol-tinted green residue. it plunked in the asphalt dust. they felt pretty good sitting there on the curb. Jim was dying of bone cancer, had lost forty-eight pounds in the last two months. Teardrop said that Jim was like a father to him. Jim was around sixty, maybe sixty three. Teardrop was probably in his forties, mid to late. he wore a ragged rainbow striped ballcap titled dangerously to one side. Jim wore a shapeless grey workshirt, open and unbuttoned to where you could see green and black tatoos, the jailhouse or army kind, all over his scarred chest. his beard was thick and dirty. his eyes were grey and electric. Teardrop often looked over at him as they sat on the curb in the sunshine in the afternoon. their breath smelled like mint. Teardrop wondered what he would do for something to drink. sometimes Jim's guts couldn't take more than a coke. at least it wasn't too hot where they were.

2 Comments:

Blogger Julie said...

Damn, I love it. I think I saw Jim and Teardrop yesterday. We went down to the local mission, and there they were. I know it sounds weird to say "beautiful," but I think these are beautiful characters. Damn fine writing.

1:05 PM  
Blogger christopher cunningham said...

yeah, I see em every damn day, you know? it's a tragedy of our society, but the endurance is a horrible miracle...how hard would it be to turn some of this vast empty commercial real estate into a place they can get a new start? how much money does wall street need? and etc. while AMERICANS (isn't this OUR COUNTRY, WE THE PEOPLE?) starve on the street. it's madness...

2:08 PM  

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