• 7:42 PM 9/1/2009 started late night/ early morning of 8/31/2009-9/1/2009


    And as I walk through the front door of my home I am reminded of why I had left in the first place; the stench. The stench of mildew and the dimmed fluorescent light bulbs that manage to stay lit in the darkness of this home. I step over piles of clothes to make myself some tea in the kitchen, and again to sit on the sofa that seemed to smell worst than everything else in the house; other than the dirty wet towels I find myself looking at in the corner. I look around for the remote using what small visibility I have, and locate it under the stack of empty reports, unpaid bills, and meaningless job applications. I press the red power button, and wait for the TV set to turn on. I haven't actually laid eyes on my remote since I bought the thing. I wonder if all the print has worn off the buttons. I don't check. The TV turns on and I steal glances at each TV show as I continue to press the channel button. Nothing of course is on. I grab my coat and leave, there was nothing left for me here. I lock my door and pause. My tea... I turn the key further and walk down the hallway.

    I remember it; that day. It was cold outside. The first breath I took sent chills down my spine that dissipated throughout the rest of my extremities. I had aged more during that single walk to the store, than some have aged in a lifetime. I thought about my past, my present, and my future; and my past. I looked over what I had done, and what those actions have led me to do, and how it has changed one small thing or another in my life. Maybe if I hadn't have done what I did, I wouldn't be talking to you right now. Maybe If I had done things differently, I wouldn't still be here to tell you anything at all. But the past is just that, and the present is what we work toward. And as for the future? I don't think I've gotten that far yet. Another breath in, and one out. I was blinded by the fog, and numbed by the cold. The jacket didn't stop the chills, it never does. The only sense I had control of was my sense of humanity. I could still think, but even that was complicated to do, with the sounds of deisel trucks passing and locals arguing over a game of craps clouding my mind. Locals... I walked faster. I almost felt I was running, running from something other than the obvious confrontation that was happening behind me. I ignored this feeling as I had many times before, and the numerous times before that.

    I took a hold of the handle. It seemed familiar; comforting. It calmed me. I pushed the door open as casually as I could, as if everything was perfect, as if the world was one happy ray of sunshine. Of course that wasn't the case, of course I wasn't fine, what have I told you that would make you think it was? I had already been in here today, yesterday, last week, and every other time I ran out of Schnapps and occasionally wanted a Three Musketeers Bar. I walked through the store head down, and in my own world, that was surprisingly not any better than this one. I grabbed the usual and headed for the counter. I placed it upon the cold glass surface, heard two beeps, and handed the cashier a bill. I had no clue how much money I handed her, I was in a daze. She didn't complain about the money and proceeded to hand my my change. I assumed it was my change anyways. For all I knew and cared, she could have handed me shredded math tests and unused washers. I exited my daze for a few slight moments to acknowledge her presence. She stared back at me with eyes that cut beyond the bullshit and straight into your soul, into the truth. Without any exchange of words, my eyes glossed back over, I looked back down, and watched my feet fall one after another all the way out of the door. But what now? What was supposed to happen next? Home? There was and is nothing left for me there.

    CHAPTER 2.

    It was still cold, not nearly as cold as yesterday, but I could still see the air escape my mouth as I exhaled. The fresh air; fresh from the tailpipes of Hondas, Chevys, diesel trucks, and buses alike. Sitting at the bus stop, I could look off into the distance and see the cloud of perfume, cologne, smog, and smoke from the occasional barbecue hovering above the city as if something was approaching us from within. The bus arrived, but all I noticed was the trail of black smoke it had abandoned. I was hypnotized, my thoughts were transfixed on the smoke, and how each small particle is carried off in its own direction. I remember thinking that if I followed the faint trail the bus left behind that it may lead me to some kind of reward. And I sat.

    "Hey buddy! Are you getting on or not? I have a schedule to keep." I heard the bus driver say in an irritated voice. I like to imagine that I was not the first a*****e he dealt with that day, that he was already irritated before I got to him.
    And I sat.
    "Well hurry up already!" nope. I was the first.
    I stood up and approached the bus with ease, as to not scare it away. Hand in pocket, ruffling around for change in my pocket, I looked at the bus driver with the biggest smile I have smiled in a very long time. Nearing the bus, I quickly turn left and walk along the side of it, sliding my finger tips across the cold metallic surface. I looked back up at the smoke, maybe it will guide me.

    Walking down the main road, I peered into each car as if I could peer into the personal lives of the people driving them. Each person living as dull of a life as the person behind them, with the mass of vehicles never ending. Never seeing any interesting decoration, clothes, or hairstyles. Every person wearing the same suit, same dress, and living the same exact life as the person in front of them. I wonder about the life of the person sitting at the stoplight. Sure, some of you are probably thinking that my life can't be any or much better than theirs. And the masses of you would agree with them if you were living my life, which is understandable, I mean look at me. I'm twenty-three, have no job as of now, and essentially, have not taken my turn to step past the "Go" square. Maybe I'll start thinking of rolling the dice soon, but not now. After all, I'm enjoying this small vacation. I'm living the life that every kid wants. No job, nobody telling you what to do, and no responsibilities. Whoever said that you are only a kid once never saw me coming.

    I stopped at the corner to cross the street, continuing to follow the dissipating smoke. I didn't bother to peer into car windows as I stood there, I just listened to the sounds of the city, and the echo of the skies. I heard the sound of footsteps behind me, when I turned to glance at the object, all I could focus on was the coffee shop behind them. The red and gold letters on the windows came to life and called out my name. I had no control of my body as my feet led me to the glass door. I pushed it in, feet dragging on the floor with ball and chain on each leg. I awoke. The aroma of the coffee and pastry combined aroused all of my senses. I was aware to all around me, and all that was happening. I was aware of the portraits, the furniture and the people. Not only did I notice that the people were there, but the colors they wore and the conversations they carried. Not with their voice, but with their eyes. Each glare, and each glance told a story, a story that wanted to know.

    I walked to the counter with new found thoughts. I had never felt this way before. Approaching the counter I felt; confident. Confident enough to look at the cashier in their eyes without fear. I was stopped dead. Her eyes told a story that I couldn't decipher even if she had given me the key. Somebody had managed to slip my feet in a slump of cement waiting to dry. She was dazzling. She had a glow about her, something I had never seen in another person before. It was beauty. Everything else became a blur, every noise sounded as if being drowned in the depths of the ocean, and every other face just as nondescript as the last.
    "Sir..." was the words she said, but they had meant nothing to me.
    "Sir?" She stated louder this time as to grab my attention. It worked, partially. I was still hallucinating from from the drugs somebody obviously slipped into the last thing I ate.
    "Oh yes, sorry." I crashed. My hallucinations stopped, and my heart was dropped from a passing plane. The alarm clock rang.


    Another morning, as dreadfully monotonous as the last. But why was my alarm clock still on? What did I actually have to do? 6:00 A.M. I knocked over some pizza and cereal boxes on my groggy, staggering exploration in hopes to find the kitchen. The first thing my eyes caught a hold of was the red blinking light on the answering machine. This was peculiar, so I pressed the button somewhat hoping that it wasn't a telemarketer that left point voice mails, and somewhat hoping it was.

    "Hey, this is Greg. I haven't talk to you, or heard anything from in about a week so I'm just checking in. Call me back when you get this, maybe we can hook up sometime. I have some extra money this month so maybe we could...." I deleted the message, and went back on my exploration for food. I put my hand on the fridge, then stepped back and stared, warning myself of what may be waiting on the other side. An encounter with flying fungus, and battles with masses of mold and goo was not on my to do list. I opened the cupboard. Cereal, easy to make, quick to eat, and I could be on my way. Still in my white T-shirt and plaid green boxers, I walked into the apartment hallway to get my mail that has been crammed in there for the past few days. I took the letters and set them by me on the couch as I ate. After every few bites, I looked at the envelope of each letter to see who they were from, and after I made the rounds doing that, I made another opening each letter and taking the time to read them. An eviction notice. I ate some cereal. I took my bowl to the sink, stacked it on top of the other dishes that were probably stacked in there because of some similar situation, I then showered and dressed. Thirty days to pack and move. I didn't plan on keeping the majority of the clutter in here, so packing wouldn't be to terrible. I called Greg. We made plans for next Thursday, this would give me time to get cleaned up and make an impression on him. I now needed a place to live.