Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Baggage Claim

“That’s mine!” I shouted, “take your grubby hands off it!”

The boy looked at me with sad eyes. “I’m sure it’s mine mister” he said as he pointed at the opening, “see here, my mother died young, my father was bitter, I had no friends in school, girls never liked me…” He pulled the drawstrings tight. “Yea” he repeated, “it’s mine alright.”

I felt badly for him. I knew exactly how he felt, and then some, which was the issue; the “and then some”.

“No wait” I said as gently as I could as I zipped open the bag’s outer compartment, “here, in the pouch; the sight of a naked nun.”

He jumped back a bit. “Holy shit!” he said; “I aint seen nothing like that! You’re right! That can’t be my bag! It’s really yours? What else is in there?”

I grabbed the duffel off the conveyor and swung it onto my back, its weight nearly dropping myself to my knees. “Oh nothin’ kid,” I lied, skipping the asylum and the arrest, the failed marriages and being sterile among other things packed inside; “mine’s pretty much the same as yours, ‘cept for the nun, and that was an accident. I can help you with yours if you want. It wouldn’t be the first time I carried someone else’s along with my own.”

“Nah” he said, “I may as well get used to it, I’ve got a long way to go, but thanks for the offer old man.”

I found a bench and heaved to while I watched the kid grab the correct sack and follow the yellow line marked “Next Foster Parents”. I had some time before the train to “Next Life” arrived. I thought it’d be nice to relax a bit, just an old man and his baggage, pondering the possibilities.

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