Saturday, December 7, 2019

Al in the alley

I stood in a sketchy alley behind a mostly unoccupied strip mall on the edge of a struggling desert town. I held a partially full trash bag. I had rung the buzzer, as the sign instructed, and now I was waiting, as the sign instructed. A security camera looked down at me.

I felt like I should have a code word, a high sign, and the name of my connection. “Stumpy sent me. I’m here with the goods.”

After a minute or two the latch rattled and the door opened. Instead of the armed thug I half expected, it was a pleasant woman who gladly accepted my bag and asked if I wanted a receipt.

“Nah, I’m good.”

The door was for donation drop-offs at the Sheltering Wings thrift store. The bag contained four pairs of jeans, six T-shirts, a flannel shirt, and a down vest. Clothing from before my cancer. Clothing that was now too large and had to make room for its replacement. I had no mattresses or box springs.


  1. Maaaaan! Ain't chew got yerse'f uh stik er sumpin'? Seemz like you'unz oughta have a cudgel of sum sort iffen yer gonna be goin' intuh them kinda places.

    Be Safe Out Thar, yuh he'r?

  2. (Damn fool thinks jus' cuz he's survived cancer he can go around with impyoonity.)

  3. Just started reading your journey toady...started at the beginning and had most of the day to read it. Will finish up this page tonight.

    In the meantime, I hope that I read that all is well with you, and that you beat the ugly C word. Peace.