Homeless people are adverts for capitalism, not warnings against. A subliminal message to never rock the boat. Mortgage means death pledge. Your credit rating will be affected if you speak out on their behalf. Your job may be under threat if you offer them food or shelter.
Your data is harvested in the hope you’ll prove malleable to the influence of big business. Which you will be. Your phone listens to you. Your opinions are unoriginal, vintage, retro. You kid yourself you are a free man as you queue for a coffee you neither need nor like the taste of. You pay on your phone. An algorithm decides you are probably pro capital punishment.
In the city sky, tall cranes sway above future slums. An icy wind screams at a flimsy tent in the shadow of a bank.
Paul Jenkins is a modern-day Bartleby. He lives in South Wales where he sometimes writes short stories and more often doesn’t write them.