Linda had bloodshot eyes.
She knew I was a soft touch.
I landed in a city clueless.
Always a good start.
She was a big Malay girl, early fifties, missing two front teeth and a sadness that she covered well with an inner fortitude born from years of hard living.
She hangs out at the Seven-11 most nights, looking for a free meal.
Eat it all up, I said. And have some of mine. She even smiled for the camera as I took a photo of her on my iPad.
The other night she was sleeping in the chair. It’s the table I usually write on in the early hours when the local zombies come out to play.
I’ve been avoiding her for the last few nights.
She’ll humbug me.
‘Buy a rose,’ says the lady who sells noodles at Chinese food court, two doors down from 7-11. ‘Charity.’
Charity my fucking ass.
She knew I was mucking around with Rose, a Dyak, the other day. And she was playing cupid again.
I have no one to give it too, I replied.
And why don’t you buy a rose from the deaf lady? You fucking hypocrite, I wanted to say.
But I’m an empty vessel. Fill me up. I’m not here to cast judgment, it would be counterintuitive to this writing gig.