He liked this spot. It was rather peaceful sitting near the iron grate where the warm air could reach him as he sprawled on the edge of the sidewalk trying to stay out of people's way. His head lolled side to side as if he might find a comfortable spot in the concrete wall just under the plate glass window of the coffee shop, and he was both comforted and tortured by the smells from the shop that made his stomach come alive. Some days he could get so relaxed here that he could remember, way back, before the drugs, before he went to Iraq, way back to when he'd been a different man. When he had a family and a home. He closed his eyes, and tried to return to that time, and his favorite thought of all, to remember his little sister, and how she had always looked up to him. His foot fell to the side as his happy little recollection softened into a dream, and a little spittle escaped the corner of his mouth and meandered into his messy beard.
A woman inside the coffee shop, on the opposite side of the wall he lay against, could no longer control her disgust. The skinny latte and scone she had ordered could not be called inexpensive, and she fully expected to enjoy them and her magazine in peace, without having to watch some filthy vagrant wasting away outside the window. She got up and demanded the barista notify a manager immediately.
"Something needs to be done to clean up the scenery on the street for all of the patrons," she implored. With her finger pointing outside in an angry salute, she seethed, "That is not the America that my brother went to war for," thinking of the beautiful young soldier she hadn't seen in ten years.