Survivor


He slumps into the restaurant, pulling rain-drenched garments off of him as he walks to a booth in the back. Using one of the benches at his booth, he piles the sodden clothing up. It looks like a laundry bin at the homeless shelter. Smells like it too. Collapsing into the opposite seat, he breathes heavily and deliberately. Years of bad habits and living in big cities have coated his lungs so that actual oxygen has to fight to be absorbed. He pulls up his hand to his face, and slowly slides it up over the top of his head, slicking down his hair and squeegee-ing off the water at the same time. The wrinkles in his face still hold the last remnants of the squall.

 

He looks up just in time to see the waitress looking away from him with a thinly veiled look of disgust. He sees it all the time. That look of dismay and rejection all rolled up into a quick eye-roll and dropping of the chin. As she approaches his table with a mug and a carafe she gets a quick whiff of his fermenting clothes piled up on the bench across from him. Her nose wrinkles involuntarily and she gasps quietly. But he sees it. He sees everything. So attuned to his own situation and its effect on others, he knows. Yes he knows what they think and what they say behind his back.

 

Finishing his third cup of coffee and the barely edible blue-plate special, he starts to work up the energy to depart. Easing up out of the seat, he leaves a small puddle of water on the naugahyde cover.  All the clothing in the musky pile start reassembling themselves back into their previous locations about his body. When fully wrapped, he reaches into his back pocket for his wallet and pulls it out. Unwrapping a large rubber band holding it all together he pulls the appropriate amount out, with a generous tip, and tosses it on the table.

 

Standing at the restaurant door he peers out into the darkness, listening to the storm howl. His body steels itself as he pushes open the door and lumbers out into the fray. A few corners turned and he has disappeared into the world. Completely visible and invisible all at the same time. Skills learned from years in the army. He looks for the familiar alleys and stoops to survive yet another night. Lonely and alone. Scared and scarred. Barely alive but not yet dead. Maybe Death will come tonight. You never know. Sometimes you do get what you wish for.

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Published by

espyworks

I will be working on a theme for this as I go along. But there is a strong possibility that this will have no direct stream, and just ramble aimlessly. And thats fun too!