Theme: Friendship

Four Alcoholics

Saturday afternoon in a Nordic town, buses are neatly
parked and as diesel fume slowly dissipates, a few
snowflakes fall; streetlights are on soon it will be dark
the air is cold and damp; rats are up from sewers eating
leftovers. Four men sit on a park-bench they have
been sharing a bottle of booze, they have nowhere to go
but to their 'Blue Cross' lodgings, get a bed, and a bit
to eat; Sunday, with everything shut, will be a long day.

They count the change between them not enough to
buy a bottle from the man who sells booze after hour
to double the price, they stop a lone, young man, ask
him for some money, he gives them what they need,
glad they didn't ask for his wallet. They have a bottle,
the intention is to save it for tomorrow, but by the time
they reach their lodging the bottle is empty and they
are drunk, the receptionist will not let them in.

They blame each other, fight breaks out, police comes
Black Maria and the drunk cells. Sunday, the four are
booked, fingerprinted and let out. The church, across
the park is warm, there might even be a few pence to
be had from worshippers, they try to look middleclass,
but are stopped by the verger; told to come back next
day. Four men on a park-bench, they are thirsty, but not
lonely and that is a good thing to know.


More By  :  Jan Oscar Hansen

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