Sauntering out of Staples and trying to juggle bag and handbag and newly bought goods. Ready to cross the street. Pause. Tilt head, rotate ear toward the increasing sound of guttural yelling and pavement pounding closer, closer, closer--
just missed by a running dashing baggy man dodging people and store columns and carts and gripping a large white can. Open-mouthed and wide-eyed he races forward fast forward eyes straining--
just missed by two men racing forward fast forward flash of white, Navy white-- the bell man who said: "Feed my can! Feed my can!" now blazing by, in Spanish screaming: "Give me can! Give me can!" hopeless, fighting, mad.
A crowd gathers, rallies.
Two teens run to catch up with the mess.
A clerk from Staples runs out to help.
We watch and wait.
A sour taste on our tongues, for the man who steals small coins, for the man who steals from Christmas, for the man who steals from troops.
Jingle Bells cracking from the speakers.