The cold, cold world.
|Burton Blankenship wore a starched white shirt and a dark-blue pinstriped suit. A blue tie with little red sailboats was tucked inside his suit pocket. On his wrist was a gold watch. He was just now working his way into a pair of well-shined cordovan loafers when he noticed a boy standing with a dripping ice-cream cone staring at him from the sidewalk. Burton let loose a well-practiced growl and the kid hurried away.
At Burton's feet, an unconscious man lay naked but for a pair of white boxers. Burt decided he couldn't leave the poor bastard like this and dressed him quickly in a ragged pair of old jeans and a torn Grateful Dead t-shirt. He turned the man over onto his stomach and tucked car keys and a wallet (less eighty-four dollars) into a back-pocket. It was the best he could do.
Two middle-aged, well-dressed women stopped in the alleyway's mouth. Their eyes roamed from Burton to the man lying at his feet. Burton soon joined the women on the sidewalk.
“Just a drunk,” Burton told them. "He'll be okay."
"Truly disgusting," one woman said.
"This city should do something about all the homeless," the other added.
"Sure, Janet," the first one said. "Let the taxpayers’ foot the bill, huh? People need to start looking out for themselves." She turned to Burton for confirmation. “Am I right?”
“Oh yeah,” Burton agreed. “It’s what we do.”