Sunday, September 25, 2011


I stopped by the local liquor store after work on Saturday to buy a little something.
A man likes a drink at the end of the day; my day ended at ten thirty pm.
On entering the store I passed a man slumping on the sidewalk with his back pressed up against the wall of the store. In his youth he could have been in the ads for Camel cigarettes. He was now past the point of rugged masculinity and was just rugged.
Worn out. He muttered to himself and talked to people who were not visible.
As I exited the store he asked me and the blond women entering the store for spare change. I ignored his plea and got into my truck and got out a piece of DubbleBubble gum. I walked to him as he held out his hand and place the gum in his upturned palm. I walked back to my truck as he stared at the gum. “Is that it” he said, throwing the gum to the curb. “Is that all there is”? I thought, maybe that is all there is, for you sidewalk man. I drove off thinking about the Peggy Lee song “Is That All There Is” and how that small piece of gum would have made him feel just a little better as the sugar flowed through his blood system and brain.
He reminded me of my cousin Phillip who wants it all for free and then is not happy with what he gets. I drove home listening to jazz while chewing bubble gum.

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