Prelude 46

Aaron lay in the doorway, huddled against the cold, watching the passers by, his threadbare coat stuffed with layers of newspaper as he had seen the others do. He hadn't eaten all day and had drunk the last of his cheap vodka hours ago. Waves of nausea washed over him, threatening to rid him of what little food remained in his stomach.

A young couple walked by, laughing together, oblivious of the wretched old man just a few steps away. Their evening was mapped out: a West End show, a fine meal and perhaps a little something afterwards if the mood was right. In the distance a lone office worker hurried home carrying a sad bunch of flowers hastily bought from the stall on the corner. His evening too was mapped out: a long commute home, an angry wife, a cold dinner, sleeping children.

Aaron fell asleep and dozed fitfully, dreaming of happier times.