These were very bleak days. Broke and forced to take the bus into the city to find work was weighing heavily on my constitution. I was tired. Very tired. The street I was on was like any other, and this bus stop had a bench like any other. I sat down, alone, wishing I had a working watch to tell me how long I would have to wait before the bus arrived. I was depressed. Another prospective employer had wrinkled his nose at me after seeing my tattered clothes and unwashed hair.

Then I realized I was not really alone. Sitting on the bench beside me was a pound of ground beef, resting on a little styrofoam tray and nicely wrapped in Cellophane. It must have been there for a while as it was warm and gray. I wondered how long he had been waiting for the bus and if perhaps this bus stop was no longer in service. Immediately the images of me in my raggedy old clothes turning into a pile of bones came to mind. I shook it off as I saw the bus pulling up in front of me.

"Come on, little fella.
I'll get you where you need to go."

I picked up the poor pound of ground beef and cradled him in my hand. Who had damned him to this fate? Did he fall out of an overstuffed shopping bag after a family hurried to get on board the bus? Who knew, but he was my responsibility now and I needed to find a way to get him home.

There were only four other people on the bus, mostly urban youths coming back into the city after doing some low grade grifting. They looked at me funny as I sat and enjoyed a fulfilling conversation with my meat. Some of them moved away, which was good, because it allowed me much more personal space. I needed that space in light of my new responsibility.

The bus stopped in front of my ramshackle hut and I got off with the pound of ground beef carefully held in my left hand. I did not hold it too tightly, and held it away from my body. It was dripping some sort of reddish brown fluid and I was worried as being unemployed had left me without health insurance.

Inside the house I immediately called the newspapers and asked if I could run a free lost and found type advertisement. Once I found one that would, I immediately placed my ad on behalf of my meat.

Pound of ground beef found at bus station
Please call if it is yours and be ready to identify

That was three years ago. Strangely, no one has called yet. If you lost some meat three years ago please let me know and I will return it to you, provided you can make a positive identification.

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