Homeless men forage for their lunch
“Where to?” The old man rasped through a greasy beard.
The other man, who was younger but just as weathered, sighed, “8th street, I suppose.”
The older man, whose name was Tom, was unfamiliar with that part of the city, “What’s on 8th street?”
“There’s a Dunkin’ on the corner down that way; they throw their stale crap in the bin out back. If we’re lucky, we can get there first.”
“Worth a shot.” The old man said, not making an effort to sound hopeful. Luck was not something he had in abundance.
And so, the two homeless men set out, trudging down the sidewalk, keeping to the side by the alleyways, trying not to see their own reflections in the shop windows. The older man had a bad limp and walked with the help of a staff he had carved himself.
The Dunkin’ Doughnuts glowed its harsh, neurotic orange, even in the midday sun. As the two men approached it, they rounded the corner sharply, trying not to be seen. The dumpster was resting behind the building like a vessel holding the waters of life.
“There it is, old man. You want first pick?”
Tom, of course, did want first pick, but how could he take it? The younger man had done so much already…
Upon opening the lid, though, Tom discovered that the distinction was not to be afforded to either of them. In fact, a small boy was resting in the trough of the dumpster, hands full of golden-brown bread, oblivious to the potential danger in the streets outside. Here, he was home. This was his cradle; who were they to rock it?
The younger man smiled a bit, then scowled, “C’mon Tom. There’s a bakery down the street. They have pretzel bread on Tuesdays."