|The Soup Kitchen (standard:other, 1573 words)|
|Author: timster||Added: Dec 04 2002||Views/Reads: 2469/1442||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Is this what Society has created?|
The Soup Kitchen Marie was busy performing her daily task. She would do this everyday, making sure the plates and silverware were out. The food had to be done by noon and there was so much to prepare. The lines would be long on this day. There would be plenty of food though. This time of year, gathering donations was pretty simple. Most times of the year she had to go beg for food from people and business's. The turkeys were put in at five in the morning. The potatoes were just about done boiling. Marie had been running this soup kitchen for seven years now. Her kitchen was in a small basement below the Baptist Church on the corner. She was not a member of this church and her patrons were never preached to. So many people had eaten here throughout the years, looking for a meal, some company and still searching for some dignity. Marie had always thought the latter was the most important. As a younger woman, she had to rely on these places from time to time, more for the sake of her two children after her husband had left her. The memory of living under that bridge was still ingrained in her mind. Today she would have many people helping her, not like most days. The door opened promptly at noon. There was already a line around the building. Many people had been lined up there before the sun had a chance to come up. As usual, Stan was first in line. She thought that he must have gotten there last night, sometime. Marie had come to know Stan over the past few years. He was an infantryman in the Vietnam War. His unshaved face, scraggly hair and tattered clothes were a reminder to her, that there were too many like him out there. He confided in her that part of him had died in that war. Stan had seen many of his close friends die before his eyes. The smell of burning flesh would never leave him. He explained though, that is wasn't the worst part of being in that war. He felt that he came through it, as best as anyone could. It was the part of coming home that was hard. He remembered being spat on by some college students. They were angry at him because he went where the government had told him too. The alienation of the American People, is what seemed to destroy him. Stan couldn't find a job that suited him after he got back. The government that sent him off to war seemed to abandon him. Marie knew that he was destroyed more by his own people and they are the ones that killed his spirit in the end. Today, Stan was just a shell of a man and lived in a cloud that would never leave him. Jennifer and her three children entered soon after. She was a regular there, feeding her children most days. Marie felt close to her because she had been through the same type of thing. The children in their tattered clothes just broke Marie's heart. She had tried many times to convince Jennifer to put her oldest in school. Jennifer would have no part of that though. They rarely were able to get a shower and the old torn clothes would be too embarrassing for him. Marie had offered to help in the past, but Jennifer would have no part of it. She felt that Marie had done enough for them. Marie just felt it was Jennifer's Irish pride getting in the way. None the less, Marie had bought the children a Christmas toy. The children each received a little nicely wrapped box. The older boy found a small truck through the wrapping and the two little girls each got a little doll. Jennifer's eyes had swollen up, as she gave Marie a hug. She told Marie that she was the best friend she had. Marie only wished she could do more. Margaret and Gilbert slowly walked in. The two have been coming in for years now. Marie thought that they must be about eighty now. It wasn't that they were homeless, it was more this is the only way they could eat. They both relied on Social Security for their living. As they had aged, the cost of doctors and medicine kept growing. They could afford food, now due to the rising costs of becoming old. Once a day they would come to the soup kitchen and try to get enough nourishment for another day. Marie remembered that they had talked about their children once and she wondered why they weren't around to help. She knew it wouldn't take to much money to keep them fed. Maybe they didn't tell their children of their situation. Maybe the kids didn't care or lived too far away. Marie didn't know the answer. She wondered how society could do this to the elderly. They worked hard all their lives and then their pride is taken away. Was the same fate awaiting her as she aged? Two teenagers entered the dining area and proceeded to get into the line. The two boys could not have been more than sixteen. Marie had Click here to read the rest of this story (61 more lines)
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