Benny was just trying to cope with being homeless, which was, at the time, a new thing for him. How could he have known not to provoke the head of the unspoken, informal hierarchy of homelessness when he didn’t know any such hierarchy existed.
But he should have understood that, like with everything in the world, there was a pecking order, even to life in the streets. So when he quite inadvertently poked the nest of the top dog at the makeshift tent city near the docks, he found himself shunned, even by those who, like him, were down and out.
If you go after the alpha male, you’d better win, Benny learned. Because if you lose, you’re either dead or banished. And to Benny, it was better to be banished than dead. So he grabbed the sleeping bag he’d ripped off from a Target store, along with his few other possessions, and left the city.
Benny considered himself fortunate to have stumbled across this isolated place far from the beaten path. The small, natural cave was a tight squeeze, but it kept the cold, the wind, and the rain off of him.
Definitely crude, it lacked any creature comforts. But Benny had gotten used to living without creature comforts ever since he joined the ranks of the homeless. Besides, he liked the idea of being a little bit caveman.