Walking back from office - in the brightly hot mid-day sun - I pass a man sleeping.
Nothing new. People sleep when it is hot.
Another man near by is shaking out flour from a big gunny sack. He is a miller.
The first man starts to speak. "I want puries and bujia!" he says.
Two thoughts crowd in - one after another in quick succession. The first is the normal - Ha, ha - look at the drunk. The second takes another look at him. About my age. Not dressed too shabbily. Lying there in the middle of the day thinking he is ordering breakfast at a roadside eatery.
My ha, ha, dies out quickly.
The man is not alone. He will have some family at least. Maybe some kids. Probably a wife. How much of the household money have gone into this latest stupor? When he 'awakes' what will he think? Will he crowd out the memory with some more smooth liquid? Will he be sorry? Will he just think that this is his own particular fate - and move on grimly?
Its easy as a kid to 'act drunk' - to move around without much control. Lots of laughs.
The sordidness of us all. The piddly, stupid brutes we become shames the bundled glory that is the human.
Where is that man tonight?