The rain didn’t help. Five hours trudging the highway. A million mosquito bites. Two hornet stings. Fifty-two cans. Two dollars, sixty cents. Some days aren’t worth it. I shouldered the black plastic bag and squished into town on sodden sneakers.
The machines were available. The crushing stops. Push here for receipt. A one-dollar burger today. McCafe in the morning. I won’t starve.
“Hey, Eddie.” Old Jake, lopsided on the broken crutch. Too-large hoodie dripping puddles. Small bag. Twenty-one cans—dollar-five.
“Let me help you, Jake.”
Crush cans. Slip him my receipt. Head out for burger with nickel tip. No coffee tomorrow.