His body was blocking the door. I noticed only as I turned the handle. I could see him through the door’s window. I rapt on the glass with my knuckles. And again. He didn’t budge. My shoulder up against the wooden frame, I put my weight into it. A crack opened wide enough for me to squeeze through. The door fell back again. The man was now flopped over to his side, eyes half open, mouth slightly agape. I knew if I looked hard enough I would see the needle somewhere. I stood watching him for a few moments, considering pulling him up and sitting him out of the way. But I left him there. I didn’t want to touch him. Especially not knowing where the needle was. Twice that day I had seen people in the same state. On a park bench, a girl. Half her back and half her ass exposed, her head hanging between her legs and her dangling arms. In another park, an old man’s head lolled to the side like a dead man’s. Was he old? They all looked old. And not as in elderly. Old as in worn out. The beauty of life sapped from their shells. That’s all their bodies were: battered shells. Housing need. I watched the man’s chest rise and fall. And again. A woman walked by pushing a stroller. Her eyes dropped to the man, and then lifted to mine. She smiled, and I smiled. Our crow’s feet didn’t wrinkle.
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