The sun hit asphalt and made it sizzle.
I can see the waves of heat coming up off the road, I can feel it seeping through my boots and baking my body up through my toes.
Damn thing always seems straight up over me anyway. I must be stupid to be out here. Dumb. Why I’m out here on Interstate 5 walking toward San Diego with red face and blistered lips is beyond me now. I lost the reasons while I was explaining the importance to myself; somehow it all just slipped beyond the grasp of my brain.
I know only that this is where I’m supposed to be.
Perhaps San Diego will be a better place. I hear San Diego is the perfect place, paradise, and when I get there, maybe I’ll get lucky and find shelter, get a job, then a fast car…
Do you like the sound of that one? I do. The Truth? Who cares about the truth? I don’t want to think about that once upon a time I sold myself on the idea that lying on a park bench and begging for scraps was easier then going out and earning a paycheck. I was wrong. Sleeping on asphalt is a hell of a lot harder than flipping burgers. Ah. But it doesn’t matter ’cause the truth doesn’t matter. After awhile the streets drive you crazy, and then you now you are where you belong. Just another wacked out street person, feeding off society’s leftovers.
I walk to San Diego at a fast pace – as fast as I can go – to get away from the sun and the people who spit on me and try to knock me down.
“Get a job, asshole.”
“Freak. Hope you fry!”
Now you’ll run me off the road. It happens. Shit happens. Hope I fry. I said that once, in a more tender time, when I believed life was all about shiny things. Be good and nothing bad will ever happen to you. Fly straight and you’ll have the best things on the block. I said that when I believed that nothing bad could happen to good people.
Poof. That illusion pffed right into thin air. Nothing to explain it–to make all this craziness make sense. Or shove me back into the closet where no one can see or hear or smell a rotting life. You told me, all my teachers told me that life wasabout being successful, about building families and careers.
Out here in nowhere land, life is to be survived. No one told me about that. They didn’t have a lecture about that, no books or chapters. Not even a movie. No–life only ever about collecting shiny things.
Hey! What happens if you fail? What then? Teach that. Somewhere, somebody–maybe a teacher, a father or a mother–is explaining the little uglies that happen as you sail toward that bright and limitless future. My future’s bright–as bright as the godforsaken sun on my back as trudge toward a preordained end in a back alley or on the side of a darkened interstate..
Failure is the only thing I ever did well because there was nothing better to do after the sitcoms got boring. After that, there’s nothing else to do but get good at being a loser. A man needs to be successful in something. Just one thing–that’s enough for most men. It’s enough to do one thing all their lives and end up being good at it. I got stuck with being a good loser.
I’m a bad sport now.
Hope I fry. I hoped you’d fry, but I never got that satisfaction. That’s why I’m out here walking in this inferno, why I see nothing but crazy rage, dying a little piece every day; a very tiny piece sacrificed for the pleasures and promise that the rage holds for me on this day.
One is one is one is one, no matter how you dress up or what you climb into. I am no worse of a person, a human–just another creature walking around on two legs with an overly-developed brain and a greed thirst. I am more than you who spit on me and call me names because I do not hide from my rage. It is my shiny thing–my thing to hold up and admire. It is my thing to die for. Rage is so much better to die for than shiny sheets of metal and stone.
Rage justifies me. My rage gives me a name.