He chewed chopsticks and broke into a dream of faraway fields of healthy cows, ducks burping forced fat in new wave quacks, hiding their little amid their clipped wings for temporary protection. The chickens were eggy and shat eggs, while running from freeze storage future. Seventy little plots of herbs and bees, stringing honey into webs from flower to flower. Fat tomatoes, boasting modified genes. Health smiled green. In a distant gossipy corner, sat three women on a wooden chest, incubating. “Will you sing me a song about me?” In unison, they rise and break into a plenty chirp and scare the birds that flutter and burst.
A powerful scowl, gargled rocks into the bends of his waist. The chilled air, tasted like urine, and he counted the food stamps in his sewed in pocket. Not enough. It’s never enough. He looks left to right for wandering eyes, steals a stamp, and sneaks it into his dry jaw, tonguing its papery promise of fulfillment.
She fixed her wig with a scratch, and sniffed her finger, and doused it in free sample hand sanitizer. She felt dirty. When the streets weren't safe anymore, they had pulled her away from disease, size surprises, black eyes, skipped rag cycles, baby pills, and the occasional promise of love, family, a home, and a dog. Beth, moaned beside her, in response to a street mouthed caller on the other line. He sounded so familiar, as did Beth. She had scripted Beth and May’s responses after all.
That was her job. When he calls you a bitch, you call him your master. When he grunts, agree. When he wants to meet, hang up.
The phone lines seldom rang these days. She wished for a webcam for Christmas. And then the world will know!
In a city-wide effort to quell loneliness, depression, and suicide, you dialed L for love.