I went to sleep hungry for the third time this week. It's not easy being homeless; everyone always giving you dirty looks as if you asked for this kind of life. It's a sad, cruel world; no one to accompany you, nowhere to rest your head at night, no three square meals. Just a bag on your back, and a burden in your heart. My name… is Pablo.
I awoke to the sound of congested traffic; 'living' in a big city it's no surprise. Like a sloth, I got to my feet and packed up the few belongings I had and set off in search of food. As I walked along the pavement of LA, something flapping in the wind caught my eye. Stooping down I picked it up and to my surprise, it was $1!
I hit the jackpot! The only question now was, what to buy with my winnings? I walked to the nearest corner shop and stepped inside; a blast of cool, refreshing air filled my rotting lungs. I glanced around the room. Over in the far corner, I could see the produce section.
I am a potato, and all my days I lie among others, yet still so lonely as if some part of me is not complete. All day long I watch as people walk by and take away one or two of my own, anticipating the day when I too will be taken beyond the open-top crate that surrounds me. Perhaps it is just my odd shape that scares them away, I just hope that someone out there believes that it is what is on the outside that counts.
I walked over to the produce section but was overwhelmed by their absurd prices.
"Shouldn't a man be able to buy something without needing a fortune?!" To my surprise, I said it aloud.
"Why don't you buy a potato!" the clerk jeered. I pondered that thought for a moment as I walked towards the potatoes. They were only 70 cents compared to everything else, and I'm too hungry to go in search of a more cut-price store. I hunched over and scanned the selection of potatoes when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It's perfect! I thought as I gave a little leap of joy.
Apples were only 50 cents! I ran over and took two apples to the check-out counter. But as I dug out the dollar the clerk said,
"That'll be $10."
"10 dollars! Are you kidding me?" I exclaimed. The clerk responded calmly,
"Apples are $5 each." In a tone as if he'd heard it all before. I took the apples back and sure enough under some dust was another '0', clearly stating '$5.00'. I held my head in shame as I stood once again in front of the potatoes.
This morning has been very eventful, a man came in took two apples and started yelling at the clerk. Then he came over to the potatoes, to where he stands now, looming over all of us. I stared in awe as his hand moved towards me and picked me up. I heard him mutter,
"This is the one…" under his breath. I couldn't believe it, was I actually going to be adopted into my new home and fulfill my lifelong dream of being eaten?
This was the day that potatoes were made for: to be eaten. The man took me out, out beyond the crate that I would have rotted in, out past the store doors and into the world.
"Um…sir? Would you like a bag for that?" the clerk stopped me as I walked out the doors.
"Why not?" I asked. "and the name's Pablo," I said arrogantly.
"Ok, sir…um, Pablo, that'll be 20 cents." The clerk snickered.
I looked at him questioningly, reluctantly handed him the money and set out. But as I once again walked the pavement of LA, I couldn't stop thinking about how I would cook this potato. I don't have a stove and even if I did, where would I put it?
I continued walking, and saw a park on my right with a fire pit, billowing up smoke into the sky. As I got closer I noticed the fire was a reasonable size and was just abandoned with nobody around. I got out a stick from my small pack, stuck the potato on it and waited.
What is this nonsense? I finally get out, about to achieve my life goal, when I get a stick jabbed through me and held above a blazing fire. He is trying to burn me up! I will not allow this, but then again what can I accomplish against an animate being? Nothing. That is why I await my imminent doom…
Once I thought it had cooked long enough I brought it up to my lips, about to take a bite when… the potato burns me! In a rush, I fling the potato to the ground. I stared in agony at the horror at my feet, but there was nothing I could do.
It all happened so quickly, one moment I am above a blazing flame, about to be eaten, to being hurled to the ground and scattered in smaller fragments. It is all my fault; if I hadn't conducted so much heat I would be in this man, Pablo's stomach. I wallowed in sorrow, as a figure came out of the clearing and gobbled me up… my soul floated up above Pablo and the figure.
Never in all my life did I think it would be a dog to fulfill my dream. I used to see them walk by attached to a rope-type mechanism by a passer-by. But that doesn't matter anymore because now I am free!
Seeing the potato scattered over the ground was enough, but when a dog came into the clearing and gobbled it up, it was too much for me to bear. I held my head in my hands, as all hope for me was lost. Then I heard a weird choking type sound, and as I look the dog started to barf. Was it that the potato was no good and it was trying to save me by sacrificing itself and ate the potato before I got any ideas? If so I would be eternally grateful, however as I neared the dog I noticed something peculiar amongst the junk it spat up, a $10 bill! I gave a leap of joy, picked up the bill, wiping it off and stuck it in my pocket. I patted the dog on the head and started dancing in amazement. The sun setting on the horizon set for the perfect scene as I adopted the dog I had named 'Dollar', for that's the least I could do for blessing me with this miracle. Then the two of us, I, Pablo and my new companion walked off into the sunset…