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He hovered over my shoulder whenever I rode the Free Trolley. He never shut up. He spat a little when he talked and always smelled of his trash fueled campfire. He talked in riddles and rhymes. I think his name was Kenny.

I think he lived on the Free Trolley on cold days.

On a frigid night in January, Kenny was drunk and louder than usual.

“Hey, got a cigarette?”

“Sorry, I don’t smoke.”

“Not until someone puts a fire under your ass!” he crowed.

“That’s it. I told you about cussing on my bus! Get out!” yelled the bus driver and pulled over.

Kenny grunted and grabbed his large back pack and sleeping bag and exited the bus.

While munching on an everything bagel at Bodo’s, I overheard two guys talking a few days later. A pastor had found a bum frozen and dead underneath a bush by Holy Comforter Church. The most noteworthy detail, according to the two, was that he died with his mouth open, and no one was able to close it.

I walked past Holy Comforter on the way to work, and the posted sermon message read: The meek shall inherit the Earth.

I threw a piece of brick at the sign denting the plexiglass’s right corner. Then, I decided to buy my first pack of cigarettes. Pall Malls.