Each morning, he’d unbox from his hovel in the corner of the parking lot. He’d yawn as if surrendering to the universe. He’d salute the multinational flags flying outside the casino and burble out some unrecognisable national anthem to the accompaniment of downtown traffic.
The security guard and early morning cleaners ignored the ex-military patriot – as his country did.
His mind, as shell-shocked as the moon, was frightened to leave the boundaries of the lot. Everything he needed was there.
Food and beer from the restaurant garbage. A stray dog kept him company, chasing away the seagulls who sometimes pecked at him mistaking him for some unearthly thing spewed out of the ocean or jettisoned from the sky. Unwanted.
He loved that dog. So much so, that tears welled in his eyes as he held him tight.
He loved his nation equally; Although, with his country,
he had forgotten why.
He celebrated the 4th nonetheless. Watching the fireworks from under his collection of boxes.
Calming his dog, who shivered like the casino flags; pledging. allegiance to the
Invisible PlayStation, his dog, the empty beer crates and all.