Pawn Takes King, Part 2

    Donnie's "shift" last another 3 hours. Like minimum wage workers, the bums rotate who gets at what light. It is unspoken, but all abide by the rhythms of poverty. This was the best place to beg for change. Outside the fast food restaurant, there was heavy traffic. American obesity may be an epidemic, but it had it's benefits. Donnie figured many people would just simply give him the change they have leftover from the drive-thru when they break a larger bill.
    There was a method to the business of begging. Pride was the first thing to go. Donnie shed his self-esteem like a snake does to an old skin. Some people swore at him, told him to get a job, or  asked when the last time he bathed was.  Most just stared blankly ahead, and hoped not to be approached by the scruffy transient with the cardboard sign, and pavement-worn shoes.
    At times, Donnie was struck by the absurdity of it all. Here he was, living in supposedly the richest country on the planet, having to get by on scraps. Donnie glanced at the newspapers in the racks beside him. He never allotted money to actually purchase a paper, but the headlines were there to be read by any passerby. On an almost daily basis, Donnie read about more and more corruption, more war, more swindling of home owners and savers. It boggled Donnie's mind. Donnie had next to nothing, and yet these megalomaniacal men in ties and suits seemed insatiable. Meanwhile, broken and mentally ill denizens of the street struggled to make it to the end of the day. Donnie was not the insane one, it was those greedy fucks on wallstreet. Donnie wished he had just an abandoned car to sleep in, while those aspiring crooks slept in their high-rise penthouses, with their cheap floozies on their arm. IT was enough to make a person sick.
    Donnie folded up his cardboard sign while finishing off his stray hamburger. Stuffing the napkins into his pocket, he then discards the bag. Napkins always came in handy when mother nature called, and a roll of TP was nowhere to be found.
    For a second, Donnie paused and watched the cars zooming around the corner where he stood. Some of them were going quite fast. Donnie imagined walking into traffic and ending it all. No more begging, no more humiliation.
    Donnie wished he was dead.
    Hitting a deer could demolish a car, totaling it out. Donnie had seen it before. Donnie was no deer, but his lanky form would not leave the vehicle unscathed. Following that logic, Donnie imagined the poor driver might only have liability insurance, and be stuck with the repairs themselves. He supposed he would feel bad for the poor sucker who got stuck with the bill from the impact of Donnie's body. Full coverage would guarantee repair from even a homeless obstacle being hit, but liability only covered the OTHER drivers vehicle.
    Donnie's suicidal thoughts receded back into the dark depths where it came from. It wasn't the first notions of death for Donnie, and it would not be the last.

    Donnie made 10 dollars from the kindness of strangers. He hiked over to the Good-Will store and bought a second-hand pair of jeans. Donnie shopped at the bargain bin at the Good-will. It was a sorry assortment of broken down crap. Imagine how shoddy the items must be to get the discounts at a place that ran on donated goods!! HE inventoried the mass of junk: toys that were scuffed and scratched, almost without paint, DVD players that looked like they wouldn't even turned on if tried, and much sadder wares. In this muck of clothes, Donny found a deal. The jeans were $6 because the zipper wouldn't work. IT didn't phase Donnie. Better to walk around with your fly eternally open, than to be cold. With 2 pairs of pants he could wear layers when winter came about.
    With the purchase, Donnie's loot was reduced by more than 50%. He debated what he should spend the rest on. He wanted to get loaded, and the prospect of alcohol seemed very tempting. His existence was a prison, and he could use 40 ounces to freedom. But, Donnie wasn't much of a drinker anyway. He preferred the herb. Instead of intoxication, Donnie opted for a few tacos from the restaurant across from the Good-Will. WHile he waited for his order, Donnie went into the restroom and changed into his "new" pair of pants. He placed the other filthy pair into the white goodwill bag and returned to the dining room. Bags were important. The cellophane carriers served many uses, and transported Donnie's limited possessions quite nicely.
    What a cliche Donnie had become: a homeless bag-man that loitered and asked anyone for spare change. What's even funnier was that if Donnie actually found a shopping cart, he would most certainly use it. There was no line that Donnie wouldn't cross. Survival was the game now, by any means necessary. Make no mistake, Donnie was on his own. The government wouldn't take care of him. Hell, the Congress seemed unable to even help itself, or the beleaguered throngs of unemployed. Donnie was just shit on the shoe of the capitalist power race. If it wasn't war or destruction, the elected powers had no interest.

Uploaded 09/20/2012
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