Out Of Place

The trees have not turned yet; still green. It was mid October. Where were the reds, golds, rusted leaves falling to the ground. This is Indian summer. Things seemed out of place.

He walked through town. Passed the used car lots, grocery store, funeral home, the bar where he sat at every night staring into his glass of whiskey; the young man walked right on by. He carried a stick.

Cars went by. Semis too. Ford pickups and Chevy four doors. Felt like sticking out his thumb. Kept his hands in his pockets.

The gravel on the side of the road was hard on his feet. He wore an old pair of Converse. Those jagged rocks went right into the rubber souls. There was a hole in em.

Came to a bridge that went up over the river. The water was high. The current was swift. For a moment he thought of jumping in. Thirty years.What had he accomplished? No woman in his life. Rented a sleeping room on the southside. Had a job changing oil at the Jiffy Lube. All his plans had vanished. Like, seeing the world. Should’ve joined the Navy like his dad said. Pop told him, don’t have any regrets. He jumped off the very same bridge. The boy figured he’d had enough. Now, as a man, maybe he’d had enough himself.

He threw his stick in the river. Watched it float away. For hours he stood there. Just looking at the brown water. To be or not to be? That is the question. Ain’t that what they say? he took out a cigarette and lit it. Looked at his brass Zippo. Put it back in his pocket.

Things seemed out of place.

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