I suppose I should say the obligatory "this sucks," and it does, but I still sort of like the premise.
He brought balloons back every day. He found them tangled in bushes in the park, caught in dumpster lids behind flower shops, abandoned in alleys, battered survivors of children’s parties, and floating unwanted in subway trains. Sometimes he stole them from restaurants and party stores. Once he rescued a 15 foot high chain of them from a Honda dealership. On the nights when he found none, he would track down Stu, who sold hotdogs, coke-a-cola products, and balloons. At the end of the day, the vendor would happily exchange the leftover balloons for a McDonalds meal.
When his hands were full of the familiar plastic strings, he would take the subway back to his apartment building. Once there, he would climb the stairs, past the hoard of Mexican children who stared wide-eyed at his treasure, to his door at the end of the fourth floor hall. After fumbling with his keys to release the latches within, he would step inside and let go of the balloons, watching them float upwards to join the other refugees. And then he would take off his shoes, lie on the floor, and watch the thousand globes of hope and colour bob against the ceiling.