Two guys share a smoke from a distance. They quickly toss the butts away when I pass them. Proof yet again that the most civilized people I know are often dirt poor, hungry, pushed by society into being monstrous. “There’s no dignity in being poor.” This debate has been running between me and an octogenarian for years now. He tells me I’m giving excuses, trying to look for silver linings to prettify a picture, to contain the objective reality. I am about to concede. Perhaps he is right. But isn’t this nice? Sharing a smoke with a friend, the last bastion of civility in fantastic conditions.