It was more annoying that it was painful, the impulses emanating from his lower back. However, Connor got out of the old Ford, grabbed the pack of gear from the back and headed down the dock. He could feel from the way the wind pushed against his face that it was going to be a great evening in the water. CanDo. Beluga. Revelation. The familiar boats were in their slips as he got closer. Then he saw her. The Katherine Elizabeth. He stopped right there, about twenty yards from her. The wind stopped blowing. The gulls went silent. There was nothing but the Katherine Elizabeth rocking gently. What a beautiful craft. For the life of him he wasn’t sure why he ever stepped from her deck. From somewhere a horn blew and the wind returned and the gulls cried.
“There should be a point to all of this,” he said as we rummaged through the dumpster.
“Well, the alternative is that we don’t eat again tonight.” I opened the Wendy’s bag and looked inside optimistically. Wendy’s was my favorite, and I was not disappointed. At the bottom were a couple of french fries and both buns from a sandwich. “Frank, who throws away perfectly good buns from a burger?”
“How come you find the good stuff?” Frank was holding another bag, upside down. Not a Wendy’s bag. “I mean, why are we here? Living like dogs? Eating out of dumpsters? No. Wait. Eating in dumpsters. I don’t get it, Ted. I want my life to mean something. I want more than this.” At that he crumpled up the empty bag and threw it to the far end of the dumpster he was in.
“What do you want me to say, Frank? That you’ll wake up tomorrow in a warm bed? That this is all a bad dream? Or that in the next dumpster you’ll find a winning lottery ticket?” I was really just making up questions as I went along, hopeful that each one of them would be answered by a “yes.” “Hey, here ya go.”
As Frank rose up to catch the bag that I had tossed over to him, he slipped. With a loud crash he collided with the wall of the dumpster and the cover of the dumpster came crashing down. “Frank!” I catapulted out of my dumpster and ran to his. Try as I might I couldn’t get the top open. “Frank?” There were no answers to my scream. “Frank, can you hear me?” Nothing. I put the lottery ticket into my pocket and looked around for something to pry the lid open.