As I walk down the sidewalk of the busy, industrial street, my vision starts to blur, and I begin to feel fuzzy. I just need to make it the last mile to the bridge, and just maybe I won't freeze to death. I didn't do well today, but tomorrow is a new day.
I can feel the numbness creeping up my calves, as I try to walk quicker. The lights from the shopping mall over the slight hill arrived into my view, so I know I am near. A freezing, dense wind gust slams into the side of me, and knocks me off balance. I decide to step inside the mall for a few minutes to warm up.
I plop down on a bench just inside the entrance. After only 2 minutes, I make eye contact with the plump security guard wearing a red, velvet coat. I instantly knew there was going to be a predicament. I just sit still and relish the heat, as I watch him shuffle over to me in my peripheral.
"Excuse me, sir. I am going to have to ask you to leave," he remarks, disgusted.
"May I ask why? I am just seeking to warm up for a little while, and then I'll be on my way," I reply.
"You need to leave now. You are making people uncomfortable, and your stench is making a few people ill."
I rose up and walked out of the mall at a sluggish pace, fighting back the tears. If I could take a shower, I would do it in a heartbeat. I understand that I'm not pleasant to be around, but it doesn't make hearing it any easier. At least I received a few moments of warmth.
I continued my walk down the avenue and eventually reached my destination. I escalated up to the highest corner of the underside of the overpass, curled up into a ball, and rested my eyes. Tomorrow is a new day.
I am awakened by the bright sun reflecting off the glistening white snow and icy roads, along with the angry sounds of cars passing by. I am sure those furious cars are moving, working people.
Hopefully, today is the day where I join the working class.
I figure if I am going to get a job, I need to find a shower. Unfortunately, showers cost money.
I get up off the hard cement, and I head for the car dealership across the street. I creep around the rear and find my golden ticket, the dumpster. I rummage around until I find the perfect piece of cardboard, along with a nearly dead, black permanent marker. I write the basic, "Homeless, please give money," line on the cardboard, and then I stroll towards a bustling intersection.
I occupied the corner for several hours and eventually gained $20. Numerous hurtful words were spewed at me by motorists, and I wish they could only understand my circumstance. I am beholden that a few people were very generous towards me.
I start walking away from the junction and after approximately 4 miles, I reach a thrift shop. I purchase some modest clothes so I may apply for jobs.
The truck stop is about 2 miles away, so I begin my travels. Snow is starting to fall lightly, I pray it doesn't get worse. It is chilly at the moment, but I am fortunate there is no breeze.
I walk inside the truck stop to acquire a shower. As I am waiting for my turn, I obtain a burger and a soda. I am now out of funds. I finally hear my name over the loudspeaker, and my shower is available.
It feels spectacular to be all washed and dressed nice. I know today is the day!
I have a 2-mile walk to the shopping mall, and only a few hours until close. The weather outside is becoming snowier, windier, and colder. I can't let it bother me. I have to keep my eyes on the prize.
Once I arrive, I step inside. I commence immediately from the entrance, progressing from store to store, applying for any position available. All I need is one company to supply me with an opportunity. Many places don't even consider me, strictly because I don't possess a phone. I even told them I would stop by every day, so they could still contact me. After roughly 2 hours, the majority of the stores begin closing their doors. The only places still open are restaurants and bars. I still have hope.
I visit the remaining businesses and apply where I can. I continually am getting shot down, one right after another. Nobody wants to hire a homeless person.
I leave the mall and walk back to my spot under the bridge. I huddle up in my corner and close my eyes. I will keep trying. Tomorrow is a new day.