The splinters of ice in the whisky clinked lightly in the bottom of his glass as he stood in the dark and stared out the small dusty window to the front yard. Concrete, weeds and tan dirt stared back. The driveway needed to be swept.
A pealing-white van with a dent slowly clanked by as a few bits of refuse caught the breeze scratched their way across the carport. He took a sip from his glass and picked at a mosquito bite on his knuckle. He couldn’t remember the last time it rained and wondered where the little fuckers were breeding. A stack of old tires near a sprinkler, a neglected fountain, something, somewhere nearby, over the wall or across the alley. Standard blue collared yard shit- collected, stored, ignored by someone too thick to know that their trash was cultivating annoyance. He poured the remaining contents of the tumbler into his mouth and scratched his knuckle against the seam of his pant leg.
He thought about how inefficiently he used dental floss and how blind people differentiate the denomination of paper money. He ran his eyes along the painted grain of the window trimming and wondered where the tree had been felled that produced it. He thought about the empty glass, the bottle on the counter, and having nothing to do at 1:45pm on a Thursday.
He felt the stretch of his shirt, the push of the ground and the condensation evaporating from his finger tips and for the briefest of moments felt the clarity of complete indifference.
He shifted his weight and heard something crinkle under his flipflop. He looked down, slowly bent and picked up the faded note and held it to the light:
It was written in his hand but he didn’t remember the meal. He crumpled the list, tossed it at the trash can and missed.
He thought about his bucket of change; nickels, quarters, dimes and pennies - Maybe enough for a thousand miles of road if he rolled it himself. Eight hundred, if he dumped it in that green machine at Food City.
Go north, a small voice whispered in the cockles of his subconscious. It wasn't enough and he knew it. Not enough to get where he wanted to go.
The shards of ice tinked in the bottom of his empty glass.
He stared out the small dusty window to the front yard.
The driveway needed to be swept.