Bad Enough

Bad enough someone had thrown them away. Bad enough they were buried under hundreds of pages of documents shredded into thin strips of paper and little diamond shards of confetti. Bad enough it was papers like these that, no doubt, had led Leon to this stark reality: he was penniless and he was dumpster diving. That kind of thing shouldn’t happen to a guy in 2086, he thought, and it certainly shouldn’t happen to a former driver for the Prime Minister. Leon’s fall had been epic.

And not only was it bad enough that some office jockey had thrown perfectly good food away (they had fines for that kind of thing nowadays, after all), but they had also failed to properly recycle the container it came in. Two huge transgressions in one place. Idiots.

Outwardly, Leon was angry, but deep down he could only feel gratitude. The wasteful carelessness of others gave him a meal. Fleetingly he wondered if he would ration the dozen or so pretzels, but he knew he’d never be able to make them last. Things were bad enough these days that a bounty such as a dozen stale pretzels should be saved, savored, made to last. But goddamn he was hungry.

He couldn’t help himself. Right there, knee deep in a dumpster, Leon tore the lid off the plastic can of pretzels. Four were gone within seconds. After a half dozen, he wondered if there was anything he wouldn’t do if he needed it bad enough.