It's another rough of a story. Some day, I will get them more better but I need to at least get them this far for me to feel like I have done anything.
Three people stood in line behind her at the corner store. They were all agitated at everyone taking so long since their lives were so important. Either that or if they may get fired if they were late to work. Regardless, their jobs were the most important ones in the world. They had places to be and just couldn't wait on her getting something she obviously did not need at 8 A.M.
Malinda Simpson was long past the point of caring, or at least not acting on it. She knew they were looking at her and squinting their noses at her dingy coat overflowing with receipts.
"Two 4'2, three 5's, and a 9."
The clerk pulled the commercial rainbow of tickets off the stack of rolls. She passed no judgement. Her time selling people their daily needs taught her that all are hooked on something. What they bought said nothing about them. How they conversed through their bodies said much more. She could see the condescending eyerolls of racist pigs and caught the sideways glances of the beasts needing to dominate. There were the kind strangers helping someone buy food and even those who bought beer for the wino.
"Everyone is a little bit of everyone and no one is like anyone," she told the young man who stopped by every morning to get coffee, cigarettes, and two honey buns. Those words led him finish his EMT classes so he could help people, no matter who they were.
Malinda left the store and sat in her car parked directly in front of the door. She needed to keep it running since it might not start again. People in the store could see it was full of clothes, food wrappers, cleaning supplies, and scratch off tickets. Her car was her home, if home is where one sleeps. It could just be how she got around and where she kept her few things. Malinda stayed in the parking lot of Gene's Quik Fuel. They let her use the showers and it was generally a safe place to be. There was a Clean Coin Mat next door. The parking lot was were she landed after the turbulence of her actions and reactions to being ignored by her parents and then preyed upon by series of beastly men and women pushed, pulled, and spun her around in tales of our need to carry on despite the misery existence. After one more trip to the free clinic, the nurse told her to go to Annie's Shelter for Women. It was clean and warm and they didn't use her. After some time, they gave her some odd jobs and she carved out a way for herself. Few people cared but she knew that the women coming through the door felt better in a clean place.
Malinda pulled out one of the tickets. It was red and green, Santa's Suprise, a jackpot was all but guaranteed. She was nervous and excited. A big smile at the dream of winning. She started scratching of the metal powder, the action was freedom. One of the all important agitated men behind her came out of the store and could see her eyes light hope and a real hope while she searched for winning numbers. He wasn't sure if he felt joy or pity but he knew that his wait wasn't worthless for her.