Life and Death

May 20, 2017
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          As I casually walked down Chef Menteur Highway in New Orleans East, I noticed something all too common. A seemingly deceased man was lying propped up on an alleyway trash can. I rushed up to him and immediately shook him in an attempt to awake him from an eternal slumber. After failing to wake him, I checked for a pulse. Nothing. The man had no physical injuries, so I figured it was either an overdose or a heart attack, as the man looked to be about middle aged. As I pondered what to do, I concocted a shameful, yet tempting idea.
          I went back and forth about going through his pockets. It was as if I had a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. In the end, the devil swayed my conscience. I looked up from my shady task at every noise and passing car that happened my way. I found trouble upon starting the deed. I knew it was wrong to frisk this man, but the thought of money tempted my thoughts into sin.
          I carefully began putting my hands into the dead man's pockets. The first pocket? Typical.  Four 9mm bullets and a dime bag of cocaine. Perfect. If the rest of the pockets were this unfruitful, this was a waste of my time. I moved onto the next pocket, and found a picture. It was a picture of the man with a young boy outside of a church. I assumed the boy was his son. I began to second guess my decision to sift his pockets. 
          I mean, I really didn't NEED the money. It was Wednesday, payday was Friday. Could I really not make it two more days? I figured I was already too deep to turn back now, so I moved on to the back two pockets. In the first of the two, a piece of paper. I unfolded it and read the single line on the page. It read, “Lil’ Mike, I'm sorry. You deserve better”. I assumed that Lil’ Mike was his son in the picture.
          “Perfect.” I said aloud, “Another kid growing up without a father. Just what this city needs”.
          It was a dark message that was the final straw for me, I told myself I wouldn't search his pockets any longer. As I got up from my crouch to leave, something called me back. It was the calling of the potential of money in the final pocket.
         I was unprepared for what lay ahead. In the last Levi’s pocket, I found an empty pill bottle prescribed to Michael Breaux. It was a prescription for Oxycodone that was filled earlier today at 8:23 A.M. at CVS. The only thing missing? The 30 pills that were supposed to be in the bottle.

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