The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Dinner Shift

The man and small boy park their cart and are waiting to be of service. Early in the evening, they sit on a step outside a long-abandoned barbershop. Huge posters with the dangling heads of Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, and Tarkan show the hairstyles once overpromised by those failed business owners.

The man and boy hold their limbs in identical postures: feet on the lower step, elbows on their knees, arms folded across, gazing left. The boy’s cartoon backpack rests nearby.

The cart has a glass case like a fish tank, filled with rice and chickpeas. They serve dinner on a side street that merges with the chaos of Taksim Square. The boy hurries foam plates to taxis.  Buses dwarf him. He weaves through slow rolling cars with skill, pulling his mouth to one side, concentrating, selling sustenance for the oncoming traffic jam.

After a busy evening, only a few spoonfuls of food remain, and the man steps away. The boy stays behind–though no longer reporting for duty. His head rests against the side of the building, sleeping with his mouth wide open, one hand in his coat pocket and the other toothpick arm dangling at his side. He is propped up and dreaming, sighing, twitching, as hungry drivers crawl on by.

-Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, travel, Turkey


4 comments on “Dinner Shift

  1. Steven Wordsmith Lincoln
    November 16, 2011

    My favorite line:
    “He pulled his mouth to one side, concentrating, selling sustenance for the oncoming traffic jams.”

    Keep ’em coming . . .

  2. joannerambling
    April 29, 2013

    I liked this…………….

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This entry was posted on November 16, 2011 by in Observed, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , .

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