The Man in the Gutter

The Man in the Gutter

A Story by Pandrogynite
"

A quick, adjective-filled story of a single moment at a stoplight.

"

     Once, when I was younger, I looked out the broken window of my gritty 2000 Saturn and saw a homeless man on the side of the street. He was lying on the ground like a broken rake, discarded for lack of function and forgotten in the waste of seasons past. At first I guessed he was asleep, but it was later apparent that he had fallen from a perch on the looming curb above him.


     His movements were stiff, like an un-oiled machine in the last throes of life. He reaches a hand, thin like wet tissue paper, towards something in front of him on the cement. It is a small box, like the kind that contain rings of exquisite value. His old bones straighten, but his hand falls just short of the prize. A small child walks up to the man and bends over, picking up the box and admiring the contents I cannot see. The man lets out only a subtle sob as the boy turns and leaves, now a thief. The vagrant then degrades into painful sobs that wrack his entire body. The spasms seem to shake the entire earth, the man's grief reaching to the clouds and pulling down a light rain to cover his sorrow.


     Somewhere up the street, I hear the screeching of faulty car tires and a woman's scream I hope belongs to the boy's mother. The man, now limp in the gutter, places his arms beneath himself, a lizard wrapped in the skin of a more noble being. With every ounce of his strength, he pushes himself upwards, slowly rising with his eyes now revealed to me. They are oceans- vast and unbridled with what they have seen. Yet the waves of his resilience part, and he collapses back downward, a broken man with his resolve shattered by a brat who does not understand the value of a life. The man shoves himself against the curb, his face now locked on mine. He simply stares, and I can make out every last line in his weathered visage, like tracks dug by time. He looks away for a mere moment and I do as well, forwards, towards the intersection.


     The light is green.

© 2012 Pandrogynite


Author's Note

Pandrogynite
Any and all feedback is awesome! Even if you think it's atrocious.

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register




Featured Review

I think this is wonderful! The test of a really good piece of writing for me is whether I forget that I'm here and stay entirely in the story. That's what happened. What a wonderful ability you have with description! The man/rake bit tipped me off right away that I was in for a good read. Keep writing!

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I think this is wonderful! The test of a really good piece of writing for me is whether I forget that I'm here and stay entirely in the story. That's what happened. What a wonderful ability you have with description! The man/rake bit tipped me off right away that I was in for a good read. Keep writing!

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I liked it. I see lots of homeless during traffic lights where I live. Haven't seen any of them get robbed, yet. But it's those fleeting moments in life, such as at a traffic light stop, that are sometimes the most interesting.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

214 Views
2 Reviews
Added on October 29, 2012
Last Updated on October 29, 2012
Tags: moment, short, writing, gutter, man, cars, homeless, lights

Author

Pandrogynite
Pandrogynite

Raleigh, NC



About
I am not so much a writer as an a*****e with a word processor. But I get along how I can. more..

Writing