near sw 4th & washington
The man trudged toward me, calling out his drunken song:
It was only almost-melodic--the lilt of his voice wavering between psychotic screaming and world-be-damned celebrating--but a song nonetheless. A chant of defiance, perhaps, as he veered in my direction--for he veered off some indeterminate path much moreso than staggered--clutching a plastic pint bottle of Popov vodka still 3/4 full.
It was 3:15 pm, but I didn't bother to question whether that was too early to be so belligerently soused, though not three blocks away were busy weekend shoppers perusing from Sax Fifth Avenue to Tiffany's to Louis Vuitton... and there were children with them... children from the suburbs, even (not to mention the street kids who were far more inconspicuous in their chemical use). Evenso, the question seemed irrelevant. He had surely been less than sober the great majority of two recent decades. His liver hardly needed a whole four ounces to reach its saturation point, and yet his body was, I presume, thankful for the 12 that remained.
He passed me by without incident, and I continued on my way to turn-in the keys to my old apartment and surprise Pic at work. (Might as well seeing as he only works a few blocks past where I was heading... I do love that silly man.)
But I kept thinking about the old sot and began to feel sorry for him. Having already traveled the path he was now attempting, I knew that in a block or two he'd blindly meander past an officer of the law; one specifically positioned to keep order on the streets. And, though I'm sure he will escape any penalties of the financial or confining sort--even detox is generally used only in the wee hours for those creating a ruckus or who have lost their way--he will certainly be forced to dump his bottle of Popov down the sewer... even though [because] it's still 3/4 full...
...and I doubt he has money for more.