Archive for October 14th, 2011

14th October
written by amber


It hasn’t been a good day. I got my usual early start, but the restaurant where I get most of my bottles has suddenly decided to start sending them to a charity, so they had nothing for me. I tried a few other restaurants on that street, but the first two said no and the last one I tried – a big fellow from the homeless shelter has claimed it as his own. He ran me off, shouting and throwing bottles.

So today I’ve done a lot more dumpster diving than usual, and I ended up with just $45.

On the plus side, lunch at the Mission was borscht, a rare treat for me these days. I really wanted to have a second bowl, but decided to leave it for the fellows who really need it. I at least know that I’ll be having supper tonight.

The day didn’t end well. I’d bought my cigarettes and went into the library to change, but the security guard chased me out. I know I looked and smelled far worse than usual, but I still don’t think he had any call to do that. I decided to go back to my old building to change, hoping they haven’t updated the security code on the parkade door. They hadn’t, so I was able to sneak into the lobby washroom without anyone seeing me. But Phil, the lobby guard, glimpsed me on the way out, hailed me. “Mr. Brooks, what’re you doing back here?”

“Oh,” I lied, “I had to come back and give my replacement a few pointers. Guess the job’s more complicated than he expected.”

“These fellows today, think they can graduate and walk into a job and know everything, hey, Mr. Brooks.”


I hustled out of there before he could get a whiff of the dumpster on me. I’d done my best in the washroom, but I needed a shower. Driving home, I smoked like crazy. My wife complains about the stench of tobacco on me, not realizing I’m using it to hide a worse stench – the stench of unemployment and desperation.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story written every day and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.