The sun is below the horizon
and the light wispy clouds
glow with soft hues of red and orange.
I look down at my feet and then pick myself up,
its time to go.
In every direction people are walking. Fast, like the worlds gonna leave then behind. Important looking people, wearing slender shoes and high heels. They look straight ahead as they go, and the traffic stops for them. I grab my bag, heavy with stuff, and step off.
They walk around me as if I were a plague. I see them coming, I try to find a kind face, but there are none so I keep walking. My legs ache, my muscles refuse to move faster and my bag is so heavy. My head feels like a lead balloon that floats with great effort.
12th and Mass. The ****** patrol here at night, but know its just the walkers. One brushes past to make the light, wiping her hand on her pants as she does so.
I must have a disease. Everyone else can see it and it disgusts them. Maybe its written on my face, but I dont know. My arm aches as I cross the street, so I set my bag on the sidewalk and rub my resentful back.
A man walks by, slowly towing a small elderly dog behind him. He has a kind face, shining blue eyes that seek to connect without speaking a word. He softly coaxes the dog along with one hand while holding two more on the other. Everyone sees the tiny dogs. They turn their heads, stop in their tracks and make baby noises at creatures worth more than me.
I am surrounded by people but I am not among them. I am the vermin they cant get rid of but wish didnt exist. Even the pidgeons are more welcome than I; yet I remain unable to go, unable to stay. The man walks back by with the old dog in tow; he looks at me and I feel my power return. To be human is not a permanent condition, but a look from a stranger can bring it back.
I ask him for money, spare change, anything. He says he doesnt have anything, but he's sorry, and I pet the old dog.
The small creature gazes at me through cloudy eyes, wags his tail, and lets out a grunt. For just a moment I exist, and then I move on to face the cold night.