I stuffed my fists into my wool mittens, the cold always an impediment to my hardened arthritic fingers. A morning walk is my gift to myself. I lift my gaze to the grey sky, a freezing morning indeed, Mother Nature.
The crunch of snow and ice on the sidewalk under my boots made a robin jump aside but he returned shortly to pecking at the carrot nose on the snowman. The neighbor kids had tried to drench their downed trampoline to make a place to skate on and the weather was cooperating.
In a nearby alley, an older man than I decided to sit and warm by a metal trash barrel full of hot coals, which emitted warm smoke. He was one of many destitute since the plague had spread. I bought two coffees and handed him one. It follows that not many businesses were going to hire a guy like him, untrusting as everyone is these days. He then asked me to join him to warm my hands, as if I was a guest at his table.
Times were already hard and 2022 didn’t look like it would be much of an improvement for these displaced men.