Memphis, 1984—your name is Billy. You’ve got two bucks left to your name.
A few months ago, your landlord kicked you out. Strike one. You got fired from your job. Strike two. Then, your dog was hit by a car. Strike three.
Thanks for playing, Billy.
The last few months, you’ve been sleeping in your storage unit. But not for long. You only have a few days left before the unit lease is up.
Then, you’ll be living in your car.
And you know, of course, this was all your own fault. How could you not know? You’re no angel.
Right now, it’s late night, and you’re walking into a supermarket because you’re hungry. You’ve already searched dumpsters behind restaurants.
And hunger doesn’t just go away.
So you shove apples and bananas into your jacket pockets. A loaf of bread. An old woman sees you do it. You notice her. Now she’s following you through the store.
Great. Just what you need.
“Young man,” she says. “Don’t do it.”
There’s no use ignoring her. Besides, you’re a terrible liar. You hang your head and say, “I don’t know
what else to do, ma’am. I’m starving.”
She’s sweet. Eyes like dewdrops. Face like your Great Aunt. She tells you to walk with her.
You put the food back. She holds your arm; you push her cart. She shops. You reach items on top shelves, lift heavy things, you help her check out.
She asks you to follow her home. So you do. You drive behind her—your tank is on “E.” So is your belly. It’s dark.
“This is ridiculous,” you say to yourself.
Hers is a small house. You remove your jacket and hang it on her kitchen chair. You unload her groceries. She makes you a pot of canned chili.
When you finish, she hands you a few bucks. It’s not much. But it’s her kindness that touches you. You…