“Trinket” stared up at the gray sky and the falling rain. At least he was safe from the rain while he was under the bridge, he thought. He scratched his beard, loosening the three day old bread crumbs and wondered when the rain would stop. It started as a light drizzle during the night, then splattered the ground by early morning and was a torrential rainfall by nine. He grumbled incoherently as his stomach groaned in pain. It felt like his stomach was shriveling up to golf ball size in its search for the smallest particle of food. I wish I could put something in ya, but until this rain eases, I’m stuck under the bridge. Man, I wish this rain would stop so’s I can make it to the soup-kitchen in time for lunch. I’m hungry, he thought. Trinket’s stomach groaned again while the rain continued to fall.
He heard the cars traveling overhead. Cars with people going to work, unaware that one of their own stood huddled under the bridge cold, tired, hungry and penniless. He didn’t want those people to know his plight anyway. He would get by, any way he could, he figured. Maybe he would have to rough it for a while more but he always made out just fine. Let those people drive their cars over his bridge. Let them go to work and make a safe full of money. What were they to him? He would make out OK, wouldn’t he? And the rain continued to fall.
He felt the cold wetness all around him. He smelled the wet muddy earth and his two weeks of body odour. He glared ahead with blood-shot eyes. He leaned sideways then bent over backwards, as far as he could without falling over. He wanted to get the stiffness out. He was twenty-five but he looked forty-five. He’d been homeless for five years, poor, all his life. Among other things, arguments with friends, who let him crash on their sofa, led to his seeking shelter under the bridge. He coughed, spat, pulled up his pants and looked skyward. And the rain continued to fall.
“Trinket” pulled the newspapers out from under his shirt and stuffed them in his backpack. He buttoned his shirt, adjusted his cap, pulled his black hoodie over his head, zipped up his black winter jacket, picked up his black and grey backpack and swung it on. He adjusted the straps and made up his mind. His stomach groaned and he felt weak and oh, so, so hungry. “Piss on it,” he grumbled, “the poor always walk in the rain. We have to walk through everything.” He hunched his back slightly, which caused his head to droop, and he stepped out from under the bridge. And the rain continued to fall.
- Victor Isaac Doxtator
Victor is a member of the Oneida First Nation. He has lived in London for forty years. As a mature writer, he also explores the life of poverty and homelessness.