Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Jimmy was the guy in charge. Whenever he alluded to the luck of the draw or the devil's cares, he smiled to reveal a gap where his front left incisor once had been. His skin was naturally orange. He had a broad nose and flat black hair.
He directed Gabriel to stack the wooden chairs on the tables in order to sweep the floors, then chop the brown-speckled vegetables that made him think about O' Donnell's pristine green peppers and long ridged carrots.
At 5:30, the food was ready, and the homeless people lined up. They were gray, black, brown, white, orange, yellow, etc. Their clothing hung limp and dirty on their hollowed bones. Scents of barreled whisky, vomit, urine, (feces?), and other bodily fluids clung to the air. Their bandaged dirty fingers caused you, unknowingly, to stare. Their hair hung scraggly by their crusty-downed cheeks. Gabriel thought disgustedly that there was no way to help them; they had done this to themselves.
After they finished their dinners, they had to stand in line if they wanted seconds, so that everyone would have their turn. Most got seconds; some got thirds. Those who left immediately after were probably drifters, floating wherever they could get a hot meal.