The Spotting Of Neeko
This post represents Part 4 of the story of Neeko and Trotter. For the previous 3 click the links below.
Finding a place to rest in a city that never sleeps is no easy task.
Police sirens are always blaring. The streets are full of tourists, business folk, pickpockets, drug addicts, and all other shades of society.
The homeless stick out like sore thumbs in a society where style and appearances are more important
than lending a hand to the less fortunate.
Neeko walks down the crowded streets looking for a place to rest before he has to meet Trotter later in the evening.
Being deaf has its advantages.
He can’t hear-
-the people who look down on him, and talk about him as they pass by.
-the angry arguments about fender benders, or taken parking spaces
-the people talking to police about being mugged by some dirty homeless kid
-the sex offenders offering money for a trick.
All he hears is silence….but he feels the pain all around him.
He tries to walk through it and complete his goal of finding a safe place to sleep.
His norm is to stay close to the main traffic of the people, the neon signs, and the noise that makes the city attractive to all the tourists. There is usually a high concentration of police presence and they tend to help when any sort of ruckus breaks out.
He just needs to find a spot…that is not another homeless person’s spot.
He made that mistake before and has 4 knife wound scars to prove it.
The homeless “society” is very protective of the spaces that they believe are theirs.
Neeko has no space of his own. He has survived by taking chances.
He walks down 3 different alleys between blocks before he finds one that might work.
He checks it out and it has no visible signs of habitation. It’s just another alley off the busy street between a bar and a flea bag, by the hour motel.
Next to the fire escape there is a big enough box to use for shelter. It used to hold a electric stove. It blends in with the thrown away scenery well. He should be able to rest here until his meet up with his friend.
He opens up the flaps to be sure it’s empty.
An alley cat jumps out and scratches him on the face, startling him.
He watches the cat scamper down the alley. checks his face with his palm for bleeding and then gets in and closes the flaps above him and begins to drift off…..
He is dreaming. He is walking through a desert….alone…withstanding a silence that, even for him, is deafeningly loud. He feels a rumble and sees the earth is splitting open underneath his feet….but he can’t move.
He is startled awake by his box being shaken and opened.
A large, old homeless woman begins to poke him with a broken off broom handle and yelling at him-
“ARE YOU MY CAT? YOU SMELL LIKE MY CAT!”
Neeko is trying to understand what she is saying by watching her mouth but it is dark and the light from the street isn’t sufficient enough to help.
He tries to get up and she pushes him back in and holds the handle to his throat.
“MY CAT GET TOUR TONGUE? WHERE IS HE? WHY ARE YOU IN MY HOME? WHERE’S MY PICTURE FRAME?”
Neeko shakes his head and points to his ears. Trying to tell her he can’t hear.
“YOU THINK I HAVE BIG EARS? HOW ABOUT I SHOW YOU BIG HANDS, MR. SPOT STEALER!”
She pulls the broom handle off his throat and whacks him across the head with it. Then with speed he has never experienced, she yanks him out of the box and hurls him into the side of the dumpster.
She then takes off what is left of her right shoe and begins to hit him with it.
He tries to scream but only muffled squeak comes out.
Between the lashes, he manages to reach into his jacket and pull out the chicken pieces wrapped in old foil and hold them out in front of himself.
The old homeless woman stops the beating and looks at the foil and sniffs it with her nostrils. The neon lights across the street from the alley catch her wrinkled, street life living worn face enough now where he can see her clearly.
She puts what is left of her right shoe back on, relaxes and smiles as she takes the foil package out of his hands and speaks.
“Sweet boy…you cooked the kitty for me as a present. I don’t know how you did it but I thank you….I kept trying to trick the kitty into being dinner but each time I tried to take a bite of him, he scratched me something fierce….sweet boy..”
She said as she took a bite then continued, “mmmm…tastes like chicken…..NOW GET OUT OF MY SPOT BEFORE I CALL THE FBI!!”
He scoots himself up the side of the dumpster while holding his head, as it was beginning to throb, and carefully walked around the old woman and back out into the chaos of the city streets.
She had already forgotten his presence and was carefully dissecting each small sliver of meat that hung to the bones of the small piece of chicken.
He looked into the window of the 24 hour check cashing business across the street from his encounter and noticed the clock inside read 11:14.
He walks up the street to a block where the foot traffic is not as heavy, leans up against a dark wall to gather his composure and calm down a bit and thinks,
“I hope Trotter is having a better night than this.”