Stimulus Money

The moon shined. Real bright in the midnight sky. He’d look up at it from time to time as he drove ‘cross Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, on into Ohio. All on I80. Just him in his Dodge drivin’. Not goin’ anywhere inparticular. Just drivin’. Like he’d lost his mind or somethin’. Flyin’ on coffee and cigarettes. Tossin’ butts out his window. Watchin’ em bounce behind him. A lit tip dyin’ out. Slow burn.

And he’d fiddle with the radio. Tunin’ it in as he drove ‘cross states. Tried some AM stations. Just talk, talk, talk. People callin’ in ’bout the president, ’bout the government, ’bout their cat caught up in a tree. Lots of lonely souls out there. Lots of em.

But, that moon. It haunted him. Made him think backwards. Rememberin’ events from his past; the deaths of friends, lost loves, ex-wives, the ones that got away, the time he fished in Old Hickory. His mind just wandered. Felt a stuffed wallet in his back pocket. Filled with receipts and cash. The stimulus money came in handy for gettin’ lost in America. Spent it the way it was intended; gasoline and beer. He was doin’ his part to make America great again.

Oh shiny moon up in the sky, he said. You’re a trickster. A real trickster, the old man whispered. Soon I’ll meet up with you. Soon. He lit another cigarette and took a swig of cold coffee. Thought ’bout dyin’ as he drove. Thought ’bout turnin’ the car ’round and headin’ south. And that moon kept shinin’ down on him. Enough to make a man crazy. Enough.

Soon this’ll be over, he thought. Hell, it’s been over before, he said. It’s just gettin’ close to the bone this time. That’s all. That’s all.

And the sun began to peak out from behind clouds. Another day was beginnin’. Another day.

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