THE LITTLE BLACK ROCK 1

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Okay, what's happening?

I was miffed, this life was ‘so’ unfair. Unjust, marked wrongly. Cruel in the meanest way possible, and I now understood ‘how’ and ‘why’ a person would commit suicide. It was stuff like I was going through. I revisited my short past... everything was going fine, better than fine. I had the future in my hands.

I had a job, a good paying job, and yeah, I’d been ‘late’ to my shift a few times over the last 6 month’s, but only two or three minutes. I had a car too, good running, insurance, tag. I had a bank account, checking and saving which I’d just recently added my girlfriend to it, as we were seriously talking marriage. My landlord loved us ‘the perfect couple’. We were both going to church, and seemed to be liked by everyone. It was all ‘perfect’... I can’t recall to the minute what slammed the wall first, it was a barrage of everything!

Was it the fact that her parent’s had died in a car crash and she had to go halfway across the United States, like right NOW... Was it the cop that pulled me over, (for a burned out turn signal bulb, that made me late). Was it my boss who had decided that ‘this’ was the last straw, and fired me as an example to the others. Was it my car that had decided to ‘lockup’ on interstate almost causing a major crash leaving me without transportation? Was it that my girlfriend had literally cleaned out our bank account on her way to the airport? Was it the fact the apartment building had been ‘condemned’ due to faulty wiring causing almost half the building to literally burn down? Was it that Everything we owned had been ruined by the water pouring through the ceiling and the insurance company was now denying any payment. And YES... This ALL had happened in one day!

But ‘How’? This wasn’t even possible. And here I sat, having collected what I could carry out of the water logged apartment, and walking to the bank’s ATM, trying to get the remaining few dollars out for someplace else to live, which I was told had been ‘locked up’, (probable from the large withdrawal my girlfriend had made.)

"Oh, this is just great!"

One after another, I slammed into walls all day. The towing charge for my car (which was useless now) sat, as I was now homeless. My credit cards declined due to the bank.. I couldn’t even get a room. The electric bill in the mailbox for two hundred dollars, with the ’shut-off notice issued by the fire department... Worse and worse thing’s got as only one of my friends had allowed me to sleep on his couch (for only three days, his wife’s rule). I remember, the cold. The back-pack my friend gave me was digging into my shoulders and the numb feeling as I no longer could move forward and had collapsed at that lamp post, crying my eyes out.

‘Why had all this happened to me?’ I though about the church member’s and went to two day’s before sitting under that lamp post and found only ‘sympathy’ and ‘concern’ from any of them. The pastor, had gave me a $25 food gift certificate,

The night before my doomed collapse at the street lamp I had spent at a park, falling asleep, and at 5:30 in the morning woke up by the police with a stern warning to find ‘other’ types of shelter, as they left. It had started to rain, a very cold rain that night anyway. I found cover under a awning at a nearby major grocery store for a few hour’s until I noticed a cop circling the lot, eyeing me. I left, but the rain had stopped and the sun would only shine for about an hour till the gray clouds and drop in the temperature told the story of possible snow. I was miserable. I’d lived in this town for almost three years and now it felt as if I was on another planet, a hostile planet! I was just walking, trying to figure out ‘what next’... my mind blank, as had I leaned against that lamp post, sliding down onto my butt, and I had begun to cry...

“Why is This all happening to me?” I yelled out loud.

But all that happened an hour ago... NOW... here I was, sitting at a gas station, fed, cigarettes, and had $400.00 in my pocket and a clean pair of socks. I didn’t want to spend a dime! That four hundred felt like the only thing that was stopping me from going completely crazy. I was still numb of the fact I had REAL cash in my pocket. I had pulled it out twice, just to make sure it was real.

My stomach churned on the food, taking another drink I gathered up my belongings and stepped outside to have a smoke. I almost felt human again, though my feet were stiff as the cold wet sock’s hadn’t thawed out... didn’t matter, I had bought new socks.

Placing my lighter into my pocket, my hand felt the small rock, and again it was in my hand and for a third time today, pulling it out I smiled at it’s design. Was it a lucky rock? I didn’t know, but I liked it and I wasn’t going to lose it ever! (It was now my best friend.) Ha, a rock as my best friend. Was I being pathetic or what,

I was almost done with the cigarette, and noticed one of the cars at a pump turning over like crazy. Over and over the driver was trying to start it. The battery starting to wear down, it seemed hopeless. The battery had started to lose charge as the snow flakes had seemed to have gotten larger.

He had got out, a slightly older man, a construction worker (it looked like), and almost angry at the car. I thought he was going to kick it, but just walked away from the whole thing. I was curious, and as he seemed to be about the only one that had recently been pumping gas. As he approached me (thinking he was going to enter the store) I asked him,

“You okay?”

He’d looked at me, his anger softened and said,

“Yeah... stupid car, act’s up like this every so often. If I give it a few minutes it’ll start up as if nothing’s wrong.” He seemed to stop at me, not the twin doors of the store.

“What wrong with it?” I asked about to put out my cigarette.

“Hell, even the mechanic’s can’t figure that one out. Had it in the shop three times this month, seems only to do this when I get gas... Hey, mind if I bum a smoke?” He said to me as we stood by the station’s doors.

We stood at the butt can under the doors canopy as we chatted, he’d already figured out by my back-pack and wet attire that I was homeless, as I explained my recent hardships that landed me this way. In my hand that little black rock. I don’t understand how it happened, but his phone went off in his pocket and he excused himself, stepping a few feet away to take the call. I didn’t want to intrude and turned away, showing I wasn’t eves dropping.

The call lasted less than three minutes, and flipping the phone closed, he walked back over to me, his cigarette about out, he looked frustrated.

“Everything okay?” I asked.

“Not really, that was my boss. Look’s like this is going to be a real shitty day..” He stated, the frown on his face said it all.

“Why, what’s going on?” I asked, surprised the words came out of my mouth.

“He want’s me to pick up another person, but I’m 45 minutes away from that happening, it’d be one hell of a backtrack and that ‘if’ I can find that ‘some one’, half the time the guy turns me down for the job, don't think he likes my boss.”

“So, you’re doing ‘what’ for work?” I asked, shocked that I was saying this. Normally, I’d of just shrugged and told him ‘good luck with that’.

“Easy job really, floor tile... but we got like ‘three rooms’ to do today, or he don’t get paid.. and that means ‘I’ don’t get paid. Mind If I bum another smoke?”

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