A Time To Remember
With weary eyes he searches his surroundings. Dense woods lay ahead of him, as dense as what he has been traversing for the last hour, the sweat drips from his forehead momentarily blinding and stinging his eyes as it drips into his scraggly dirt ridden beard.
His clothes are tattered, one could not tell that only a month ago they had been purchased new. His solo travels along the highways of the north Midwest always just out of sight in the woods have taken their toll. The underbrush that constantly grabs at his jeans and arms of his shirt have torn down the skin, scratching such that blood has dried in cakes. Strapped across his back is a boy's backpack that he stole at a school yard somewhere in Wisconsin. It holds what little food he has been able to scrounge, whether by the theft from store, or a house or by snaring of wild animals.
He can hear the traffic off to his left. He has been traveling south for days now. Most of the wandering is uneventful except for those few times where he is required to interact with others of the human species. Just recently it was to cross the lake with but one way across for a man of no means. There was a big sign for it, Mackinac Bridge, and it was a bottle neck. He knew he was in Michigan and that the Upper Peninsula was coming to an end. He couldn't return from where he had come, not only because of those looking for him but because of what he has seen and what he would remember. No, there was only forward, away from the past.
He stops in a clearing and runs the back of an arm across his forehead wiping away the moisture that has been running down his face in streams. A fallen tree offers him a place to sit and tossing the backpack to the ground he lowers his aching body between two branches. His body stinks and he is revolted by his own stench. He has stopped many times at lakes that he has encountered to rest and wash the grime from his body, it has been several days since he has seen a lake and he yearns for the feeling of cleanliness even if it means bathing in the now chilly waters of October.
His life has been harsh, much more so than that of a normal man trudging through life as most know it, even those that think they have it rough. He too has been at what he thought was rock bottom, drinking his life away and hoping that mother nature would turn his liver to stone or wishing to throw his body over a bridge or in front of moving truck to end what he no longer considered a life worth living. A life where there is no family, no friendship, no love and no more hope. Over the years he has changed from a young man with the body of a Greek god and yellow hair shining gold in the midday sun to a decrepit broken being whose hair is dull brown and matted with the grime of his travels.
There was a time when he would walk through the splendor of the old world, his feet treading across cobble stone roads tossed into shadows by the large centuries old buildings lined up one after the next. The memories of he and his friends as they would laugh and goad about who might pick the next pretty young lady that happened to catch their fancy and what they would do with her. The jokes about who had the larger manhood and how that girl might scream or moan at the penetration she would encounter or how they might all take turns until she wouldn't be able to walk for a week without looking as though she is bow legged.
He missed the times when he finally did find his love and would travel to the beaches of Spain or Italy to wander bare foot through the sands, sometimes finding a coin or arrow head from some long dead Roman. The feeling of sand on his back and the waves licking at his feet as his love would straddle him, her long nearly see through dress hiding their skin as she would buck her hips backward and forward driving is longing member deep into her willing flesh.
Even his job would come to mind, his position as manager of over 30 employees brought him happiness and content. Being in the position to show and live with power had intoxicated him at times. To have the ability to chide or even disgrace someone, often times just for trivial mistakes. Though seldom accompanied by remorse, it was very satisfying. That very character was one of the reasons that he moved up the ladder, having the personality of an ice cold person seemed to be very advantageous among his superiors. He has seen them often dealing with others of lesser stature in much the same manner and he took it to heart so that someday he too might reach some lofty position where he can watch as the shit rolls down hill and he no longer has to clean it up.
A smile cracks his dry lips at these thoughts until he remembers how his life had changed and how he now roams the lands of the new world, a thief, an outcast, a man who at times wishes death would come and finally end his misery. At this moment in time, the thought of suicide doesn't enter his mind though, only that to find shelter against the oncoming night. A barn would do nice again he thinks to himself. The leafy, wet lean-tos that have been his home for most of the week and lack of game to still his hunger have him considering taking a chance with humanity. To see if he can't find a remote homestead, a barn with chickens or possibly a goat or even a dog would make good dinner.