Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas past

I remember one time many years ago. It was on a Christmas day and I was hitchhiking through Colorado, south on I-25 to be exact. The day was blustery and there was a biting wind. I couldn't wait to get a ride so I could get warm. There I was standing at the top of the onramp with my thumb out. No one was using that entrance. We're talking several hours by now.
Just like now it was illegal to thumb a ride on the shoulder of the internet. Cold as I was I didn't care. I hoofed it down the onramp and began walking backward and stuck my thumb out. Everyone passed by including the state patrol cars. They even waved at me as they passed letting me know they noticed me.
By now my toes were beginning to become numb and I figured I could die from exposure if I didn't do something. Crossing the freeway I got on the other side. There I stuck my thumb out and soon had a ride all the way to Cheyenne, Wyoming. I think it was getting toward sunset when they picked me up. To this day I can't remember who it was that picked me.

I've had many Christmas' without a roof overhead. Many of them have been spent in truck stops. So much of my life I've spent by myself. I was an incessant vagabond with no roots anywhere. Yes, it is possible to be that way. Of course starting 1998 I didn't live that way anymore. That Christmas hitchhiking on the highway sticks out in my mind though out of all of them though.
Oh, I do love my life now so don't get me wrong. It's just I'll never forget that day so many years ago.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A last haul.

The late night air of early winter chilled and the fog of his breath hung around him. Through the bare branches of the trees the moon cast its soft light. With every footstep the surface crust of the snow crunched. Through his shoes the cold had penetrated and he could no longer feel his toes. Flexing his fingers a few times he made sure they would still bend, it wouldn’t do any good to try to pick the lock and not be able to accomplish the task.
He had cased this house for endless hours as he drove through the neighborhood. The rumors he had overhead of what was inside was irresistible to his larcenous nature. An old lady was supposedly very wealthy and never came outside. It was time to make the big haul that would set him up permanently. So many places he was able only to obtain enough to keep him going for a little while and then he had to have another fix.
Reaching the back fence he looked in at the place searching for any sign of life. Not seeing any lights he looked at the neighboring places to see if anyone might be looking out. It eased his mind somewhat that there was signs of life in either place also, dark windows that told no secrets.
Hoping that the sound of the snow wouldn’t wake anyone and give him away he hauled himself over the waist high chain link fence. Slowly he made his way to the back door carefully checking around him. Finally after what had seemed an eternity he made it to the stoop.

Standing there he pulled the special key out of his pocket. It had some special tiny thumb screws which he would turn and adjust the amount of depth it depressed the tumblers in the cylinder. Sometimes it would take several minutes as he kept adjusting it until he could turn the key and let himself in.