The Seven Five Nothing

The Seven Five Nothing are a collection of hyper-short stories, each written in a single sitting with no editting.


17. Penny.

I picked the coin up from the ground. I wouldn't have noticed it but for my boot kicking it. It was a beat-up old penny. Minted in '86. I tucked right in the coin pocket of my jeans and I moved on.

An old truck rumbled up behind me and I put out my thumb. He let me ride, as long as I didn't mind sitting on the old tyres in the back. I didn't, and we continued down the road.

It'd been hot for days - my clothes sweat in time and time again that the dirt must have been ingrained to the fabric. I stretched out my legs and leaned back against the side of the, watching the road slip away behind me. See you later everybody, I opined.

Summer has always been my favourite time of the year - you can go for days sleeping out under the midnight blue. The air holds heat like a blanket and you feel like you own every place you land, truly the king of every town you find.

I'd been seduced by Kerouac since I was a young man, desiring to be free like all the Beat guys I'd dreamt of being. But for whatever reason, reality always got in the way. Take a job, take a girl, get a house, buy a car. Wrap your identity up in a million distractions and you never have to look yourself in the eye again.

On The Road ended up being a call to arms, a passage to freedom. I romanticised about everything, about meeting a girl that thought different. Maybe she'd be an artist, or a writer, or fucked up cocaine addict, just looking for the fourth corner of her mind. Whatever it was, I needed different. I thought a lot about being that guy that didn't talk too much, but everybody knew what he was thinking. And then, one day, I found myself there.

Things had gotten so regular I didn't notice I'd changed. When I was seventeen, I ran away from home and stayed away for a month. It was incredible. It wasn't that far - just a couple hundred miles - but it was enough of an adventure to chime with the things I had read in Kerouac's book.

I checked into the motel. I couldn't afford it, but I had little choice. The rain had been relentless, and there was no way I'd have slept that night, not without soaking through to my bones. The luxury of a soft bed was actually kind of nice. I took a shower. The TV flickered, but I got it to settle after a while. I took the penny out of my jeans, examining it over and again. Time was I never had to worry about how much I had, or rather, didn't have. I served a lifestyle that ate money, followed everybody I'd once refused to be down the rabbit hole. But in the end, it was simplicity that severed me from the monotony. She walked out - bored it seems. Goes to show.

You trade everything in, and for what? My grandfather used to chaste me for even thinking of settling down. He'd always been and adverse thinker. It was him, in fact, who first gave me On The Road. Told me that, although he loved her dearly, I should not to make the same mistakes he'd made.

When I switched off the TV, I laid on the bed, rolling the penny over and over in my fingers. My nails were dirty, even after the shower, but the air was too hot for me to bother washing again. Just turning that coin over finger after finger was energy enough.

The morning after, I slipped on that beat up old jacket and broke-down old boots. There was a comfort to be had in things that were almost expired. You dress for the occasion.

Thumbing rides takes patience, like fishing. You just have to wait for a bite. The direction of the road is inconsequential, unless, of course, you have an agenda. But I never had one. Not anymore. I tried that 'making shit fit' thing, were you measure up your hopes and desires with somebody else's and it always came to nothing. People, my grandfather would say, are just too different. Too selfish to make each other happy.

Eventually a rusty old vee-dub bug pulled up. I walked over, through my bag on the backseat and said hello to her. She smiled and asked where I was headed. I told her anywhere, and to that, she told me she was going there too.

My grandfather also told me that all advice was bullshit, and that whatever felt right I should just go do.
Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...