Homeless in Abdera

(The following is a work a fiction, part of an on-going series of vignettes about the made-up town of Abdera, Florida.) 005/???

To tell this story I must confess. I didn’t really pay for another week of rent. I couldn’t afford it. I was kicked out of my apartment.

OK, I’ve confessed. Now I can tell the story.

I had a run-in with a security robot last night.

I kinda’ve already been scoping out potential places to sleep even before I got booted. I always knew I only rented for two weeks. I don’t know why I lied about that. Embarrassed maybe?

Anyway, I’ve been identifying likely places to crash. I found a place near an underpass. It’s this weird concrete alcove in the middle of a multiple crossing streets and highway overpasses. It’s invisible from the roads, but hard to approach and isolated. It was kind of OK, but I was feeling pretty down about things.

Somehow I’d managed to fall asleep. I had a sleeping bag, and used some rolled up jeans for a pillow.

I have no idea what time it was when I heard a voice telling me to come out. I was confused and it took me a minute to remember I was sleeping outside. I moved to the light with my hands up.

I was busted.

That’s when I learned that Abdera has robot security guards. The security robots look like a 4-foot high white cone topped with a rotating blue light and four flashlights facing in four directions. Across the chest is lettered SURLY SECURITY.

When I came out the robot killed its light and said, “OK, kid, tell me your story.” I wasn’t sure if I should keep my hands up or not. What is the protocol when encountering a security robot?

I slowly lowered my hands, and told it my story. When I was through it told me how to find some help with temporary housing and food resources for the indigent. And then it left. I didn’t get arrested!

The next morning I followed its advice, got some food and a shower, got a super tiny apartment for a week and went to my first day of work.

I’ve been working for a week and have to go there now, but next post I’ll tell you about Val the dishwasher.

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