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29  July   2010

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Mikesjournal Chronicles #46
He came to New York, one of the wretched and poor. Found an apartment in the Bronx and three women to look after his needs. Coffee, fried egg,
plantain in the morning. A place to shit and shower in privacy. Rum in the evening.

Even had a cat with two kittens he liked to feed pieces of chicken to. Pieces of chicken. Not spoiled chicken either but perfectly good chicken.
Pieces of chicken in abundance like rotten mangos that fell from the trees back home in the time of mangos.

Pieces of chicken like they were nothing. Tossed to a black cat and her two kittens for the entertainment value of watching them eat
and the secret pleasure of their acknowledgement of his presence when they rubbed against his leg and he feigned displeasure, gently kicking
the animals away with a scattering of curses.

New York city summer. Too hot to sleep. He walked alone before sunrise on Sunday. Stores shuttered and locked. The streets empty, almost post
apocalyptic. The only people alive, he and an old woman with diabetic feet searching through garbage.

For reasons he did not fully understand he felt desperate to connect with the woman. He felt alone. Against his better judgment he took a dollar from his
pocket and reached it towards the woman. She looked suspicious. She did not move. A sound from her like a low growl. The wizened black face
glowed in the early morning light. He saw anger, hunger, desire and a saint-like beauty. She did not move. Seemed too suspicious of him. 
Wretched and poor he thought. He reached into his pocket and pulled out another bill. A ten. Too much he thought but too late. 
He outstretched his arm with the two bills in his hand towards the old woman.

He smiled at her. Take it he thought. Smiling, nodding. Take it he thought. For an instant a toothless grin from the woman then she
snatched the two bills away, eyes flashing like a feral human, wild, untamed or driven crazy by the times. The old woman with the diabetic
feet turned away, shuffled down the street, stopping at the next bin where she began to search through the trash for something useful. Nothing
happened. Nothing touched her life and he felt empty.

He knew he was alone. One of the wretched and poor. He could no longer think of New York he could only think of home and the women he left there
with only promises and nothing more. Where were his promises now he thought.

Mikesjournal July 2010

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