I’m sitting in the park square, between the public library and fire department. Thirty children on a field trip are waiting in line by the public restrooms with supervising adults keeping a watchful eye. They had just toured the fire department, shiny red toy fire-helmets on their heads.
A few scruffy homeless men are scattered in the grass, watching them at a distance. I wonder what these hardened guys think of the children – “How cute”? Do they think of themselves, wishing they could do it all over again? Do they miss the innocence? Do they wish they could give the kids advice? Would they if they could? Or do they even care?
The children start to go again in their line, and cross the street. A fire truck happens to be stopped at the red light in front of them. The kids wave. A few firemen wave back, aviator sunglasses gleaming in the sun.
Who would those kids rather be when they grow up? I wonder which fate awaits them.