I hated the staring the most. The jobless, the homeless, the destitute, all lined my route every day. No matter how early I left the city gates, they would be there. Miles of them. All looking at me, staring. Their piercing, hungry glares accusatory.
"Why does he have a job?"
"Why not me?"
I asked myself the same question every day. They would load the bike at night. Collecting the trash that lined the cities gutters and alleyways, piling it all up on my little trike. It took almost a mile of bungee cords, and I needed help to get started, but the tower of refuse would stretch up the walls. I had to ride through the gates in the middle of the street, the guards flanking me with their assault rifles to keep out the throngs of homeless.
I peddled on, intent on my task, riding past thousands of potential replacements.
"Why not me?"
No sick days, no weekends. Only the unchanging ride.
why not them? Luck, mostly. I wondered if the city would replace me, cycle in some new person. But I think I was forgotten. I worked, and so I was invisible to the unstoppable machine of civilization. Another cog in the wheel, performing its task without flaw, without complaint, without need for oversight.
Some days, they begged me. One day, they tried to attack me, their jealousy overcoming their candor. The uncaring cough of a sniper quenched the fight in their eyes.
I only peddled, yet, my soul ached.
"Why not me?" asked the mother.
"Why not me?" asked the child.
The hungry. The sick. The broken.
none of them had a place in this 'new' society, and so, they were thrown out.
I peddled still, but, why not me?