Reality the Plain Truth

by Donald N.

Reprinted from Issue #1

     Oh, Oh, I must have fallen asleep last night and left the television on again. The smell of buttermilk biscuits baking in the oven reached my nose. Bacon was frying and the aroma of coffee percolating seemed fresh on my mind. I inhaled the fragrances deeply as I pulled myself toward consciousness, my stomach growled from hunger.

     As I opened my eyes—POW; reality the plain truth. My thoughts of hunger quickly vanished. It had all been my imagination. I noticed that silent tear more acutely, it was a new one. The voices I thought was the TV. were actually two people arguing in the corner of the shelter. My memories of food dissipated quickly. God no! It was a dream. It was good while it lasted because they were all I had left, and they didn’t come very often. It had to be about 5:30 a.m.

     As I struggled to my feet to go to the bathroom to wash, it dawned on me what was happening. I was changing, I was becoming permanently homeless. As that bad taste slowly crept into my mouth, I wondered how long it would take for the transformation to be complete. I had seen it before. I worried. Not long I knew. I watched it happen to others. I walked toward the door with a bad taste in my mouth, and a new silent tear; but today was a new day. What would it bring? I didn’t really know, but I contemplated the first thing that I would have to steal.

     Someone else’s dream—to get me through.

 Copyright NEOCH and the Homeless Grapevine published July 1998 (originally published in Issue 1)