The Great And The Good

The sun was painful in it’s brightness. I couldn’t have done this a month ago. I’d struggle to get out of bed, and sleep walk to the coffee maker to try and wake up. Barney would jump at my leg, whining and screaming to get out to the backyard. Now I’ve gone commando, up and gone without amenities like caffeine. It’s a luxury now to get a beer and a smoke, or to spend a night with a pretty girl in a bed that is more than a mattress on the floor.

I slipped on my sweatshirt as I walked, the fabric catching on my newly shaven head, dragging across my scalp. I struggled to poke my head through the neck as I hit 4th Ave, hoping to make it to the junkyard on 27th before the boys made it to work in the morning.

My heart sank when the siren kicked up.

I stopped dead in my tracks, my head sliding through the neck of the sweatshirt. I was standing in the middle of the street, unaware I had crossed off the side of the road as I walked. I wondered why it couldn’t have been a delivery truck or some doughy yuppie racing to work. Metallic green lettering – HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY SHERRIFF – on the hood of the patrol car glimmered in the morning sun. The deputy opened his door and called out to me.

“You alright there?”

He didn’t recognize me. I sprang back to life and struggled to find anything to say. “Yes, sir. Doing fine.” Any words. He shut the door to his car, and slowly walked towards me. Fuck.

“What are you doing in the road, sir?”

I turned and pointed to the sidewalk, grasping at straws. “Well, I was walking down from my girlfriend’s house. She…” I paused, searching. “She just kicked me out, sir. Found out about the other one.” He grinned wide and shook his head.

“Gotta cover your tracks, kid.”

I laughed nervously. “Yeah, I guess I just took it a little too far.” He stood back and sized me up, eyes taking in the only clothes I had left. The sweatshirt was torn at the sleeves, and my jeans were covered in weeks of dirt and tattered at the knees. My Doc Martens were scuffed and worn. I was speckled with paint, in my hair and caught in my three day beard.

“Have you been drinking?”

“No…No sir. Not this early.”

He stepped closer. “No place open yet?”

I tried to straighten my posture. “No, sir. I…don’t drink?” Son of a bitch. This is not going the way I had hoped.


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Mike Black is…

A writer, reader, commentator, music lover, art lover, futurist, tech lover, pragmatist, romantic, DepDecoist, and a bastard. Hopefully you enjoy.

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