Autumn blew through him with dry leaves that caught in his tangle of hair. He looked like an angry god come down from Mt. Olympus to do battle with mankind. He scowled his way down the sidewalk keeping away from people and people away from him. He was an astronaut down on his luck. He was an engineer replaced by computer. He was the husband who only produced female offspring. He was everyman.

When he arrived at his destination he waited while two others in line withdrew money. He stepped up and punched numbers into the machine and pulled out two ten dollar bills. This was his allowance for the week. A block down the street later he was beaten and robbed. The man cleaned himself up at the Y and ate evening meals at soup kitchens that week.

The following Monday he made the walk uptown to the bank. He grumbled and muttered to himself as he walked and the crowd parted in a wide swath and closed a few feet behind him. He nervously looked around him as he approached the machine and looked around him again before punching in the numbers. He pulled the two tens out and stuck them deep into his pocket. Then he continued uptown.

Downtown, the man waited for the man to come back from the bank. After several hours he gave up and went home where his daughter was dying. He sat down next to her on the riverbank, put his head down and he cried.

The following Monday the man who went to the bank for his twenty dollars went to the bank. By the river, the police zipped two bodies into black bags.

One Response to “Fall”

  1. cymem Says:

    Oh, this is wonderful in its horrible bleakness. Would the $20 have saved her? What an invisible America this is.

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