The hobo sat shrouded in neon light like a dirty Buddha. As patrons entered or left the restaurant, the open door pushed out wafts of fish, clam chowder, and the stale tang of beer. His stomach growled. He watched the people chatter among themselves from his garbage can seat. The rain pelted his battered cap, beaded his beard like so many little pearls. It didn’t bother him. He was a spectator in a small constellation of dramas. Earlier he had observed a woman rushing silently out the door with her face in her hands, and through the plate glass he saw the man she came in with had with ordered a full bottle of whiskey. Children capered through the smell of seafood, rushing from the neon to the next visual delight to be sampled. A couple lost inside their reality bubble dawdled in the pounding precipitation, forgotten umbrella dangling at their side. It rained harder, the water sluicing against the curb to lap at the sidewalk like an exuberant puppy. More smells, more groans from his stomach. He fingered the makeshift fishing pole that leaned against the garbage. He would go to the Allegheny and try his luck, arsenic be damned.
In response to Word Catalyst Magazine‘s latest prompt.