Fit For Heroes

Chapter two.

You sure you’re not hungry? There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s cheap cause it’s passed it’s sell-by-date. It’s only a day over. Blooming hell, anybody would think you’ve got a dicky stomach or something. It’s more than safe. If you’re not hungry, then you’re not hungry. That’s the great thing about these little shops; unlike the big stores that bin all their stuff, these fellas are happy to sell it to ya at a knock down price. Yes you’re right. They should throw it away or give it away. But, they’re small business people trying to eek out a living and besides, if they did that I wouldn’t get a cheap sandwich. The big stores? Some you can get into their bins, but not as many as you could. I don’t know but, I think it’s something to do with ownership. The store owns it and then when it goes in the bin, the owners of the bin own it. Yes. No I’m not joking! In all seriousness, we can be arrested for theft, just for going into the bins. As far as I know, yes, it goes into a big hole in the ground, rots and then gets covered in soil, where it rots further and generates methane. True. It is like a time bomb waiting to go off. Sometimes they bore holes down into the ground to release the gas. Capture it? I must admit, what little I know on the subject and the few I’ve seen over the years, I’ve not seen any capturing going on.

It’s all about money and power. You know what I mean? You understand power? What do you mean? I see. I suppose you may have a case. Greed is a very strange disease. I’m not too sure whether it’s a sin or something like that. Sometimes I believe in God, sometimes I don’t. I know this may seems strange, but on sunny days and when my stomach is full, I believe in him. When I’m cold and hungry, then, that’s when I can’t see that he could exist. Not that I feel my situation is worthy of believing he’s punishing me, no, that’s not what I believe, it’s that, at my lowest, and don’t get me wrong, I’ve been so very low; I remember that there are people worse than me; that’s when I can’t believe in him. When poor children are starving to death, or are infected with some horrendous disease; that’s when I know he doesn’t exist. What? You’re telling me that I can never know. That may be the case, but, when you think of all the suffering; when you think of all the greed and hate, I feel then, you can say that he doesn’t exist. To say, that we are not the ones to question God’s reasoning sounds like what some religious fanatic would say when you ask them about the suffering in the world. If you mention evolution they always talk about the Missing Link, or that there is no evidence or some other nonsensical argument. You agree that evolution is correct? I’m glad to hear it. I was worrying that you may be some religious nut that was following me around in the hope of converting me. I can assure you now – I am not for converting. I’ve seen the evil men can commit, I have seen the purity too, For me, there is little reason to need a god or a devil. Man is all and none of them together and at the same time.

You say that you know of man’s wickedness. I know of it too. Yes I too have seen the goodness in man, but neither means that there is a god. I mean. If god exists, why does he allow the wicked to prosper? Why does he make the innocent suffer? That’s not an answer! To question: who are we to know God’s will? Makes no sense at all. That’s like saying. We don’t know what ails you but we hope that you get better. That’s not the way of us. If we took that stance we would never have discovered viruses or bacteria, not to mention DNA. We would not have electricity, or industrial farming and all manner of great things that make our lives easier.

That’s low. That is really low. No my life isn’t easy and yes humanity as watched me fall by the wayside, but that doesn’t negate the achievements and advances man has made.

Now you’re being argumentative just for the sake of it. I’ve told you of our achievements, medical advancement, the longevity of our lives. Surely such things emphasise the greatness of man? Yes there is poverty, yes there is so much wrong, but please don’t dismiss humanity because of the evil of some.

No! You’re not showing me out to be hypocritical! I’ve already told you I don’t believe in God, a god or the Devil. Evil is just a term to describe acts and actions that are abhorrent to most moral human beings. To somehow try and take a term and put some supernatural bent on what it meant is a cheap trick and doesn’t become you.

Anyhow, enough of this, I’m full and need to find somewhere to nap for a while; I don’t know if you noticed but it was bitter last night, trying to sleep in those temperatures is not an easy ask.

Yes I slept, but only intermittently, one only sleeps in short bursts just as the fatigue kicks in and then back out as the cold bites and the pain becomes so severe it brings you around again. Yes, all nights in the winter months are spent like that. The days bring some relief, but not much….

Haven’t we been through this conversation before?

In a fashion. In a fashion? What do you mean? We either did or we didn’t! Exactly! We did! Whatever. I need to find somewhere to lie down. The food has hit and to be honest, I’ve got a bit of stomach ache. No I didn’t eat yesterday. It was Sunday, there’s never much about on a Sunday.

It happens. Yes I did have some drink; not as much as you’d like to make out. Only a few to numb the pain. From the cold? No, not from the cold. The pain is all over and nowhere. It depends on the day and the weather. In different places. Like my back. No, not in the lower back; which is really weird when you think of where and on what I sleep. Now you’re being silly. I meant on the concrete or on the grass. Park benches? You can’t be serious. That’s like a cartoon caricature of homeless people. That’s like a Chaplainesque tramp; a happy-go-lucky, amiable, loveable rogue who sleeps on park benches under a broadsheet newspaper and gets chased, in a comical manner, by the local, affable police officer. Bobby? Well that’s more an English copper, where as Charlie did is films for a predominantly American audience and his tramp lived there. It’s just I can’t remember whether the Yanks have a more endearing term for their police.

Anyhow, I need to find somewhere quiet so I can get my head down……..


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