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The Soup Kitchen (standard:other, 1573 words)
Author: timsterAdded: Dec 04 2002Views/Reads: 2813/1719Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Is this what Society has created?

Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story

never laid eyes on the boys before, but had an idea what their story 
was.  She could turn them over to child welfare, but they would run 
away again.  Something in their home life made them chose this route.  
Maybe they were into drugs and it didn't fare well with their families. 
 They could have been abused physically or emotionally.  Marie didn't 
know the specific, but she knew the story.  Perhaps they were better 
off living in the streets for the time being.  They were still young 
and had a better chance of getting off of them. Her other patrons had a 
far less chance of that.  She so much wanted to talk with them, though 
experience had taught her, they wouldn't talk to her and probably would 
never come back. 

An older Mexican man was slowly making his way to the food line.  Marie
had seen him around here a few times before.  She had tried to talk to 
him before, but the stench of cheap wine surrounded him. He would show 
up about once a week to grab a bite to eat.  Marie wondered if this was 
the only time he ate.  She thought, that all his money and energy went 
to alcohol.  The man didn't really eat that much.  Marie had seen his 
type, many times over the years.  They manage to survive for sometime 
and then they stop coming in.  What drove these people to that kind of 
life?  She never understood.  Maybe it was just the pain of trying to 
live in this selfish society.  Marie began to think, that some people 
need to be cared for and in this day and age, there was much to little 
of that.  Someday she would like to take her kitchen a little farther 
and maybe it would make a difference in some lives. 

A woman in her mid forties arrived, just talking up a storm.  Their was
no one listening to her, she would just hold a conversation with 
herself.  Marie knew her by the name of Crazy Alice.  Today she would 
not be able to sit with her, but there were times, she did.  She felt 
that letting mentally ill people out wandering the streets was a flaw 
in the government that needed to be fixed.  Marie knew that Alice would 
never hurt anybody, on the other hand though she might end up getting 
hurt.  Her talking on to nobody in particular set Alice up to become a 
target.  There were many more like Alice out there.  Some were violent, 
some were helpless, in either case they needed to be taken off the 
streets.  To survive there, you needed to have your entire wits about 
you.  Marie remember one time being struck in the face by a man who 
needed mental help. 

Marie notice that Old Billy  had made his way in.  He usually waited
until the end of the day.  There were days he would stay and help her 
clean up.  He was a gruff old man, half shaven with a deep raspy voice. 
 When he was younger he worked on the fishing boats.  He would tell her 
what a hard life that was then.  The months and weeks at sea, with the 
sun beating down on you.  Trying to get as many fish on board as you 
could., sun up to sun down.  The nights would be spent drinking and 
telling tales of life on land.  She thought that the life he led then 
took so much out of him.  He actually liked his life on the streets.  
No where to be and no responsibilities.  This was kind of Billy's 
retirement.  He was a kind man though and helped out quite often.  
Today he wouldn't have to though, Marie had plenty of help this 
Christmas Day. 

It was time for the soup kitchen to close for another day.  Marie would
have some food left over for tomorrow.  It looked like turkey soup 
tomorrow.  The hours would be shorter tomorrow and the lines smaller.  
There would be very little help tomorrow, like most days of the year.  
It was her hope that someday she wouldn't need to keep the kitchen 


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