"Now that my hands are empty
There is nothing left but hunger
Here dies the human in me
Only to wake up a hungry wolf"
He looked at it again. His eyes were clouded with tears. Everything seemed to be vague. The joyful people around him, the playful kids, and the colors of the carnival. Happiness was in the air. But for him, there was only one feeling...call of hunger.
He looked at the burger on the ground. He had been starving since the previous evening. There was not a single penny left in the pockets of his old Capri pants. No one would give a job to a homeless young man. Prejudices never gave an opportunity for survival for the homeless. People were afraid of being attacked or robbed that most of them stepped back when he asked for a job. It was as if being homeless and poor made him alien to the normal world. He had been burdened with the social stigma of being dangerous for long.
The morning was so fresh and live and it seemed like he was the only one in the world bearing the glooms of life. There was a notice put up near the carnival gate asking for helpers to clean the ground. He was ready to do any job rather than begging or robbing. The fat guy at the carnival help desk was reluctant to give him a job but at last agreed him to pay 5 dollars for cleaning up the counter. 5 dollars was huge. People complain about traffic, slow internet and boredom, and here was a 25-year young man who complained only about hunger.
One hour of tedious work in an empty stomach made him tired. But the five dollars he earned lifted his spirits. He had seen people struggling for existence or rather struggling for a living. Theft, pickpocketing, shoplifting, prostitution, murder...they would do anything for money. But somewhere inside him was a human with compassion and empathy because many times he had seen glimpses of kindness in people. The burger was 5.65 dollars and the lady at the stall just smiled at him when he said he had only 5 dollars. Yes, there was hope. Hope for humanity.
He wanted a quiet place to have his burger, perhaps his only meal for the day. He made his way through the rejoicing crowd. The festive mood was climbing heights and in the peak of happiness, someone hit him on his shoulders and the burger fell down. The paper wrap was gone and it lay in the mud. His stomach made a growl. He saw mud particles everywhere on the burger but his hunger was pushing him too much that he stooped down to pick it up. But someone pushed him aside, stepped on the burger and vanished into the crowd. The burger was crushed and everything went dark.
Everything happened in the wink of an eye. He stood staring at his meal until the crowd engulfed him and his sorrows. He was once again one among the crowd but with an empty stomach and the burger was nowhere to be seen. All he could see was people eating... hot dogs, cotton candy, ice creams, burgers, smoothies, shakes. It was a feast to his eye. He walked very fast to avoid the sight but his senses failed him. His stomach was growling like a hungry wolf. He started to run but he seemed stuck in the crowd. There was no way out of the maze.
An old woman was sitting on the bench in the corner having her coffee. He went near her and pleaded. "Do you have some change to spare? I am starving. Please give me some change." She hushed him. He kept on pleading with her and she walked away with her purse in her hand.
The evening news reported, 'Fall of humanity in the city. Old woman murdered in daylight at a carnival. Robbery attempt suspected.'