The legs in torn jeans loccomote over the grey footpath in Sydney. As, his arms swing, his jacket is blackend by dirt. His skin is leathery like a map of mountainous terrain.
"How can this go on so long?", is his own personal repetition. How can any god allow this to go on? He had a lot of let - downs in his life.
"My poor sole having been disowned by my own sister," he thought. It was true - back twenty or so years ago, he and his sister had a fight.
"you had reached CEO in the public service, damn it, and now you have no job, and have started drinking. Right now, pour that grog down the sink, or I am outta that door, and I will not come back again. Me or the grog, my brother." she said bursting at the end with emotion.
What shall I do? Shall I go to Liquor Barrel or to the soup kitchen?
He walks dwarfed by towerous buildings, roads, and endless pavement. He walks towards the liquor store and the soup kitchen but he can only choose one. As the hand ticks, on his silver wrist watch, on his dirty rummpled up hand, so does his chance of walking to both. Port would be good! So would a hot meal!
Then he sees a seven eleven.
"I'll get crackers", he mumbles to himself.
He ducks into the seven eleven with a swagger. He is a sight to smell and see for the clerk. The crackers are taken up in the homeless mans dirty hand, and slammed down on the counter, with a complacent-eyes look, to the clerk, from the homeless man - who's name is "Prooty" from now on.
"That'll be two dollars for the crackers, please".
The loose change is given.
The sun goes behind a cloud in this late afternoon. In this concrete cave of Sydney CBD, on this winters day, cold penetrates the skin.
"My sister, she said she never wanted to be in my life again. She said, 'choose between her and the grog'". Prooty thought, his eyes, that had cateracts and lacked tortness blubbered - over.
His sister was very dear to him.
She was the only one left - and noone can imagine the despair when your 55 years old and there's not a sole, not a sole in all the croweds, to call family, to call family as you lay dying, sick, on your death bed.
He got his port that evening. He lied in his alcove that night, chewing on his crakers. He ate cracker after cracker but they didn't satisfy. His mouth was dry, with cracker on the roo,f and his stomach was filled with mushed up cracker only.
I need more food, but he dare-ent leave his alcove. At some length he put to much stress on his body because he was very hungry by the end. He had a heart attack. The pain was unbearable till he blacked out. His last thoughts were: "I choose port over a hot meal but it does not compare to my choice those many years ago of alcoholism over my sister".
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