Isolating A Never Remembering
Vida Janulaitis

"Get a job you bum, go to work like the rest of us." My fellow neighbor looked at me as he watched this poor pathetic creature amble out of our way. I smiled knowingly. I belonged to the brotherhood, of bums, not the man beside me.

It's funny that every morning I did my business inside a train or bus washroom. At night I slept with my lover Jack Daniels underneath the stars by the Potomac. No one had the slightest clue. I looked okay, I didn't smell, spoke intelligently, but I didn't have anywhere to go. No place to call home, no co-workers to joke around with, and the only real friends were the rats that come out at night. But they were a finicky bunch, you couldn't really trust them not to turn on you. Like they were schizo. You had to watch your back, and uhm, toes and fingers, now that I mention it. Hungry bunch, but who wasn't.

Walking around the museums was a delight, totally free and the food was great. It's amazing what people threw out. The best part was the tourists, the lonely ones, the ones by themselves, those I understood. Culture seemed my best asset.

"I would love to join you for lunch but I'm sorry, paycheck's a little stretched this week."

"No, I couldn't, it wouldn't be right, yes we're having a lovely time, but, well, if you insist, then maybe tomorrow we could see........"

Hey, don't judge, a guys gotta make a living. Until you walk in my shoes, see I used to be, well I was.....back in the days I remember....I'm sure I was okay before I stopped the meds, you see they were too expensive, Jack was just right. But I know I was a very important person.

Ask the rats, they would know. I don't remember right now, but maybe Jack would.

I'm sorry I'm tired. I seem to have lost a finger and I can't help staring at the beautiful colour floating out of me. I'll find a job tomorrow I'm sure. Jack will help. He's my best friend.

You see, I used to be............I still am now........but.........I..........Jack?!

First published: May, 2004
comments to the writer: Knob'