I’d spent the last hour running.. Well, running in between very long breaks. But none-the-less I ran, and I ran a lot. The last half was in possibly the hardest downpour of rain I’ve ever seen. You’d think just waking up late would have been enough punishment, but then I missed the bus and proved to myself things could get worse than they were, and I kept proving myself wrong every ten minutes along the way henceforth. When I realized after I finally flagged down a cab that I only had five dollars left in my wallet. When I realized my umbrella was broken a few minutes too late.
I kept telling myself as long as I tried my best maybe my boss would forgive me for being late. Maybe my deep breaths of exhaustion would cast a spell and make him forget about his threat to fire me if I was late again. The fear of bills piling up, losing my apartment, not being able to eat, being unable to feed that stupid, fat hamster. I kept sifting through a long list of reasons why it was worth it to keep running even though my sides felt like someone had taken an oar and smashed it into them a few hundred times.
The sad part is that it worked, up until I got to the doors of our company building and saw the “Business Closed” sign. At least I wasn’t fired.
After what I believe was another hour, I couldn’t say for sure since I’ve always had a really poor sense of time, and I could walk reasonably well again I meandered down the streets no longer caring about the rain. My clothes were probably drenched for the next millennia as it was, so a little more wouldn’t make much of a difference. At some point in my daze of shuffling down the city streets I realized I had acquired a rather expensive looking bicycle. I told myself I was doing the poor sob who rode his bike to work today I was doing them a favor by taking it, and shortly thereafter I had sold the bike to a shady looking guy for $40. I was a bit disappointed I hadn’t pushed for more, but then my conscience reminded me that it was stolen and I decided $40 was a reasonable price.
I spent half of my newly received funds on a bottle of vodka and found a spot under a street canopy to drown my fresh wounds with my inebriating friend. The smell of the alcohol made me wince, and the taste of it almost make me vomit, but once the struggle to keep it down subsided I eased into my refuge from the weather. The number of passersby were few, but those that were brave enough to venture into the storm seemed to still be attentive enough to throw glares of disdain at the pathetic sight I most definitely was.
Some time later the rain finally moved on, leaving a misty haze over the cityscape. It may have been due to being soaked to the bone, but the sight sent a small chill through my body. The idea of heading home crossed my mind, but the thought of the emptiness of my apartment felt like a colossal monster waiting to swallow me. I couldn’t stomach the idea, but the number of people walking down the street was steadily increasing, and the influx of eyes judging me wasting away with my booze made it too uncomfortable to stay. I staggered to my feet and trudged in a random direction, the only guiding point being my aversion to large crowds for fear of the looks on the stranger’s faces.