Bad Soup

He lifted his head off the pavement in a rush, then slowly came to his feet. His shopping cart was parked perfectly parallel to the side of the building he was sleeping against. The man reached into one of his duffel bags and eagerly searched. After some time, his frustration and impatience grew more powerful than the once thoughtful consideration he had for the trinkets he’d picked up along the years. He turned over his life onto the sidewalk in deep melancholy.
Lofty business men quickly walked past. One stepped on a portable radio given to him by a friendly stranger. He never did have enough to get batteries for it, but he knew that one day he would, and he’d tune it to heaven and hear God.
He found the item of moment’s significance. The calendar was torn at the edges and discolored in many places. He flipped past both the cold months of winter and temperate times of spring to July. He pulled out a ‘Sharpy’ and drew a mangled soldier shooting a gun towards the sky in the box marked ‘4.’ He fingered the numbers before finally stopping on ‘18.’ In big, robust letters, he wrote “MY BIRFDA!”
He shoved everything into his bag, threw it into the cart, then hailed a suit.
“Missa, hey Missa!” he shouted.
One gentleman wearing a pinstripe Armani saw his plea and responded by handing him a Washington as he tried to continue on his path.
“Thank ya sah,but what is da numba fo today?”
“You mean the date?” he questioned.
The pinstripes on the man’s arms went parallel to the street as he raised his hand and briefcase to look at his watch.
“It’s the 18th,” he stated.
In excitement he yelled, “It’s my birfday!”
“Yeah, yeah…” the man trailed as he scurried down the street to Bistro Phillipe.
“It’s my birfday!” he repeated in a covered voice as he pushed the cart along down the sidewalk to where 3rd street met Washington Ave. From there, he went left up Gateway St. and down around the second corner to St. Augustine’s soup kitchen. There, he died.
In heaven, he pushed his cart up to a man in a suit sitting behind a desk. The white suited man had in front of him a book, which contained the ultimate naughty/nice list.
“C-can I come in?” he asked.
“Of course George. Happy birthday.”

Bad Soup


Charlottesville, United States

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