You leap out the window, the glass painfully shattering into hundreds of unfixable pieces, sort of like what happened to your life. For a blissful moment you hang gracefully in the air, before falling less gracefully onto a homeless person far below. You jump to your feet, thanking the stars above that you lived in a crappy apartment surrounded by hobos. The place you had landed was a dark, seedy stretch of pavement between your apartment building and the soup kitchen you regularly frequent (for the company). A dumpster and a large amount of homeless people were the main denizens of this place.
Ignoring the agonized scream of your human landing-pad, you look around. His companions, who appeared to have been celebrating New Years around an oil-drum fire before you interrupted, do not look happy. They grumble uncertainly to each other in what you assume is some sort of crude, homeless person language. The unfortunate man you happen to still be standing on hacks out a painful cough and thrust something crinkly into your hand. With his dying breath he whispers, “Take it.” and then falls silent. A gasp escapes from the assembly.
A man steps forward. He was extremely hunch-backed and sickly but you couldn’t tell if he was really old or just really homeless. The man clears his throat and looks at you with sharp, homeless eyes.
“In accordance to the lawful Hobo Texts, in the sentence right under the big grease stain,” he said, shaking open and reading from a scribbled-on piece of dirty napkin, “If the King surrenders his crown to anyone, even his own killer, then that person is now King.”
A cacophony of indignant protests erupts from the crowd.
“He’s not even homeless!”
“Boy’s got two shoes!”
“But he killed Greasy Greg!”
The man screams at them until they fall silent.
“Look at this man. Look at his unshaven face, his lack of pants, and his sunken eyes that have clearly given up on the cruel world. If this man isn’t at the pinnacle of homelessness, I don’t know who is.”
You stand a little straighter, an inexplicable feeling of pride settling over you. The hunch-backed man takes the crumpled-up object from your hands and kneels before you. Seeing this, the others drop to the dirty ground kneeling as well. You now notice that the object in his hand is a crudely-made, tin-foil hat.
“Kind soul,” intones the hunch-back, “On behalf of the late King Greg, please wear this crown. By doing so you will accept all the responsibilities and privileges that come with it, which includes having your way with our women.” You throw up a little in your mouth, but politely nod at the toothless hobo-ladies waving at you.
The crown shines with the brilliant radiance of crumpled tin-foil in the light of the oil-drum fire. Police sirens sound in the distance, and you are reminded of your present situation as a runaway old-person puncher. Was punching old people illegal? Perhaps it was safer to stay here, wrapped in the warm, soggy arms of the homeless communty. You could stay here forever, safe from the cops. You glance at the hopeful, dirty faces around you, still wondering what to do next. Do you…