The Old Soldier got his pension check by snail mail from Giant Eagle today. So, after my morning routine of breathing and stretching exercises (karaoke at Nico’s in Little Italy this Saturday), putting up an earlier post, eating, doing a little apartment cleaning, I walked to Armand’s.
Armand’s is in Little Italy, too. It’s an overcast day of slight rain. The high in the low 60s. I sat at the bar and drank my can of beer, ate some potato chips and watched what was on the television.
There was nothing worth watching on the television; but I had sat down next to a woman who needed to talk.
There were only a few people at the bar. It was around two in the afternoon. Retirees (like myself), people who work the night shift, the unemployed and people down on their luck come into Armand’s in the morning and stay until afternoon. This woman was down on her luck.
She was not young. She was thin. I listened to her story.
She had just gotten out of the hospital and she was homeless. And yes she was drinking beer. A friend of hers came in. He had just gotten out of a homeless shelter. After a time they left.
Many years ago, for a short period of time, I was homeless.
I had another beer and stared at the television. Got a six-pack of beer to go and I walked back to my apartment in a light rain.
I felt very lucky.
The Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette is a blog of creative writing and brazen sexuality. This blog is published near the University of Pittsburgh.
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