He peered into the bin exploring the day’s possibilities.

At 71, Mr Lim is active enough to support himself. After all, life is a constant barter trade of drink cans for his daily bread. Like all good businessmen, he has learned the art of cost-cutting: home is now a choice of 4 void decks and the wet market thankfully offers a 20cents per entry toilet.

Staring at him from the bin was a kickapoo can; not as common as Coke or Pepsi these days. He used to enjoy it almost every day at the shipyard.

Those days are still fresh in his eyes. He watched the port speed its way to become the busiest of them all. His best friend Ramu used to joke, “we carry the whole of Singapore on our shoulders”. Ramu was a proud man. Diabetes took away one of his legs and he used to sell lottery tickets at waterloo street until two years ago. Lim heard that nobody claimed Ramu’s body. ‘What happens to unclaimed corpses at the mortuary’, he wondered.

His prolonged gaze at the kickapoo can was broken by an agitated female voice: “Seow ah!’
‘Yes, mad!’ he thought to himself.