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10 August 2017

"I'm From the Mud"

by Andrew

"I am a missle like a S.C.U.D." No idea is S.C.U.D. an acronym. But probably it is, my guess. It stands for shit-can-un-do-Democracies, S.C.U.D. North Korea has apparently developed some, or something, or whatever. So Don Trump will send us to war.

But so, I am from the mud. Where are you from? I slap that silver spoon out your mouth because I can't understand what it is that you're babbling. Coins fall from your tongue, onto the ground, bouncing. Jackpot—or so you thought. I pull your ears and your eyes roll round dollar signs. I feel pity mostly. It used to be anger, jealousy maybe, that I felt. But it's pity now.

He has to pull up his pants. It's been awhile since he had a good meal, a couple months at least. So he's a bit on the light side, you see. The pants fall when he walks. The belt is cheap. It's stretched. The pants fall. The stomach rumbles. Meal to meal he moves. Just make it to the next one, that's it. But wait. What's this?—that shine in his eye? Defiance it looks. Strength created from resistance. And he walks the streets proud, a sarcastic grin, all the cars passing round. When he lifts his eyes from the ground, his dirty hood from his head, or a hat, you see then. Those are the eyes of a man alive completely, despite his situation, confident, free, proud. What strength is that, that smile spread thinly on his lips? Death and destruction continue all round him. And there like a stone at sea he stands.

I have to hold my laughter when Gene tells me. Lost it all, that's right. Budget cuts, they had to let me go. The mortgage was due. The baby was crying for food. The wife wanted a new watch, started fucking Ben for one. I got nothing left. The house is gone. No one will hire me. I smell. The wife took the kid, sent me the divorce. I give him money for a coffee at least, ol' Gene. More than he did for me. Good luck, I say.

He wakes soaking wet from the rain, in some grass in a field some place. The wind is cold. The rain doesn't help. It's not yet quite dawn. He decides to get-on with it anyway. Movement creates warmth. And that wind is cold. And so is the rain.

The café isn't open yet, so he walks the streets in circles to try to dry a bit. The rain stops as the sun rises. He sits on the curb, head between his knees. He fingers a crack in the sidewalk. A flower grows and blooms.


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