A Night on the Streets
Hiding underneath the hood of my coat, I swing the door shut behind me, and slip my numb fingers into the warm lining of my pockets. As I breathed out the vile, evening air, I could see dragon’s breath leaving my chapped, broken lips. Careful not to slip on the icy slush forming on the pavement, I trudge on down 134th Street. Even despite all the horrific atrocities I see day in, day out, I seem to always find beauty in the darker avenues and lonelier alleyways.
Tonight was the fifth successive night I’d had to deal with the painfully naive and overly difficult Damian Rodgers. You see, as per the norm, Damian doesn’t want our help. Well, he doesn’t want my help, seeing as no one else was offering.
I found him a week ago, cowering behind an overturned bench and a dumpster, more ashamed than he was afraid. Flinching as I approached, he was an insect, fluttering its wings, caught helplessly in spider’s web. Noticing the customary change in my tone of voice, becoming one of a door-to-door salesman, I began to recite the standard company bullshit, announcing with little pride or belief that I was here to save the day. Each word of fakery I uttered, seemed only to provoke a sequence of confused stares. Clearly I was alienating him.
So I let it go. What else would I do? Deliver slogan after slogan in mockery of the person I was trying to help? No. That I would not do. I would follow the rules, but only to the extent where I was confined.
What’s your name?
Rodgers. Damian Rodgers. What’s it to ya?
Well, Mr. Rodgers, I would really like to help you, if you don’t mind.
Don’t need your help. Never did, never will.
Well, could we talk at the very least?
Fine. What do you want to talk about? Birds? Bees? The fucking weather? This isn’t how it works. You and me? We’re different. We don’t make small talk.
I stood my ground. Damian paused for a second, gathering his thoughts.
Alright, what the hell do you...