life roulette

could you live there, mo asks. live there? i don’t think i could even visit there. we scratch another one off the list. throwing darts at a map of the rest of our lives.

i walk out of the newspaper. it’s a little before midnight. i see a big clump on the sidewalk in front of the building. i steer away from it. maybe it’s a pile of discarded clothing.

how can we leave here, she wonders. the art community is the home she always dreamed of. but poverty doesn’t seem that much fun. what do you do when you’re at the age deemed to be unemployable, but you haven’t lost the taste for vastly overpriced running shoes?

as i get nearer, reality rears its ugly head. actually the head is lying on the sidewalk and it’s not ugly at all. just a homeless guy. dead or passed out. hard to tell from a distance. and i’m too cowardly to get close enough to find out.

she loves the desert. maybe it could work. take the dive. move there and hope. 3 million people. needles in haystacks. maybe a job is there somewhere. maybe the new company will want me. maybe monkeys will fly out of my butt. the prospect of starting over, at the place where it last ended, is terrifying. but maybe.

he’s probably just drunk. let him sleep it off? i can’t. he’s in a spot where people walk as they get off work. we have people leaving at 2 a.m. I can’t let them be greeted by this guy. homeless guys are just guys who are homeless, but you never know. i make the call.

what if we just wait? leave it to fate. something will happen. something always happens. but what if it doesn’t? do we let our lives be decided by chance? do we even have a choice?

i wait for the police cars. one, then two, then three. and an ambulance. six people gather around him. they talk to him, nudge him, shake him, gradually get him to stand up. he’s groggy and isn’t sure what’s going on. his night isn’t going to end well.

i proofread a letter for a place i went once for an ani show. i liked it a lot, and it was a great show. maybe it’s a sign. mo sends it. we wait.

they put him in cuffs, because they have to. he stares at me as i stand on the corner. does he know? does he care? i ask one of the officers if i did the right thing in an effort to ease my guilt. yeah, he says. alcohol. somebody could have hurt him or robbed him. but it doesn’t help. i’ve developed a bond of sorts with the homeless guys over the years. i let this guy down.

choices. life roulette. i hate being an adult.

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About gary

no sock monkeys were harmed in the making of this blog.
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