late night fiction

smallstories

Today a guy was standing at the light by the nearby underpass — the one next to the railroad tracks that divides this neighborhood and the next. There's just a sliver of concrete sidewalk to stand on, running along the foot of the overpass's concrete walls. But he stood there, as I've seen plenty do before.

It was nice outside, but I rolled up my windows before I approached. I usually do.

Unlike most who I've seen stand at that long traffic light, this guy had a guitar with him. He picked it up and belted out a twangy song about rambling or some such. He strummed loudly. I could hear it through my windows; I wasn't playing any music on the radio yet.

I remembered I had some cash in my wallet. I didn't have any plans for it. So when he took a break from his first song, I rolled down my window and rolled the car forward.

“Here you go, man.” I handed him a fiver.

“Really appreciate it,” he looked me straight in the eyes.

I could tell he was genuine. I hope it helped.

#smallstories #thepeople

“How’s it going?” I ask, squinting in the setting sunlight behind him.

“Still getting around alright, isn’t he?”

I’ve never seen or spoken to this friendly neighbor. He must be referring to the aging dog I’m walking, my dear old boy. “Yeah, he does alright!”

He continues walking briskly past us, smiling at my quadruped as he passes. We amble into the middle of the street, at the boy’s direction. I like to let him walk me; not the other way around.

#smallStories #thePeople