Hello and this time we have something more contained. I would call it contained because it really is a contained piece. It’s contained within a single world, within a single day, with a single character. The title is the biggest clue to that. Today, tomorrow, yesterday. It’s the pathway for the movement of the story. It begins today, bleeds tomorrow, and then encompasses everything that is yesterday. It’s a revolving story over a single axis, and it’s about just that, time. It’s about what time does to one, what being an adult means, and what living in today or seeing yesterday means. It’s a strange piece I think, but a fun one. Here you go, “Today, Tomorrow, Yesterday”.
A large bang resounded in the alleyway as Samuel stumbled on empty bottles, cans, and kicked a misplaced garbage bin. Samuel’s eyes widened at the sound which reached his ears, but soon lowered them once he lost interest. He reached over to the brick wall beside him to ascertain his balance, but his head was spinning and he could barely find a holding. He stopped, let his head rest on his hand and took a deep breath. He coughed at the scent of his intoxication, and covered his mouth to prevent himself from vomiting. Samuel verbally expressed his disdain, and sighed as he began to grasp his situation. He slowly trudged his way to the exit, barely able to lift his legs, instead dragging his way out. As he finally came out of the alleyway, he lifted his hand to block the sun’s ray. It only blinded him for a second, and as he lowered his hand, he reached over for his phone. He patted his pockets vehemently, but soon realized his luck had run out. He sighed, again, and began trudging his way to the convenience store. Samuel’s balance began swaying before he realized it, and soon without warning his body flopped towards the ground.
“Damn,” Samuel said in his hangover. He tried his best to push up from the pavement, but every muscle in his body had contradicted with his will.
“Move!” Samuel said as he struggled to get himself up. Shortly after, Samuel’s body relaxed, “Maybe I’ll just lay here and wither away.”
“Why would you do that?” A voice resounded in Samuel’s ear. He should have been surprised, but didn’t have the will anymore. It was a rough voice, husky, but also surprisingly gentle in nature.
“Samuel,” Samuel said..
“Matt,” the man said, seeming to understand the situation.
“Mathew?” Samuel asked. Matt didn’t answer, and instead brought out a water bottle. He opened the cap, and then poured some in front of him.
“The name’s Matt.” Samuel groveled on the ground.
“Alright, Matt. Mind not pouring water on me?”
“Not on you.”
“You know what I mean,” Samuel said as he rolled his eyes.
“Getting up, or you going to kiss the ground all day?”
“Hopefully neither.” Matt leaned over, and pressed the water bottle on Samuel’s face.
“I’m drunk,” Samuel said in annoyance.
“Hung-over, you mean.”
“I’m dying, and I can’t get up,” Samuel sighed on the ground.
“You’re dying, and doing nothing about it.”
“Asshole.” Matt reached over and picked up Samuel.
“Hell of a night?” Matt asked.
“Only the stars know,” Samuel said, barely able to muster up the words.
“Heading up there soon if you don’t get yourself patched up.”
“Can it.” Samuel reached his arm over for the water, which Matt promptly gave to him. Samuel opened the bottle and paused to lift the bottle to his mouth, ineffectively draining water into his mouth, while some dripped below him.
“Here, sit down,” Matt said as he brought them over to the bus stop at the end of the street.
“Heading somewhere?” Samuel said with the water bottle barely hanging on his hand.
“Talk when you can,” Matt flatly exclaimed. He peered over to Samuel, and chuckled, “If you can.” Samuel capped the bottle and pushed it towards Matt, “I can.”
“Good to hear,” Matt said with another small chuckle.
“Make big buck?” Samuel asked.
“Perhaps,” Matt replied.
“It’s just–” Samuel closely analyzed Matt, taking into account his suit and mannerism, “That,” Samuel finished. Matt smiled and got up to read the bus posting. He sighed and pulled a cigarette from a box in his pocket. Matt then pushed one towards Samuel. Samuel looked up, thought about it and sighed. He pressed his pockets, and reached into his sleeves in search for a special memento.
“Looking for something?” Matt said as he lit the cigarette in his mouth.
“Cigarette reminded me of something.” Samuel shook his head and leaned back on the seat.
“Got any little ones?” Samuel asked. Matt turned and puffed out a small cloud of smoke, “One. Or two.”
“Which is it?” Samuel asked with a small chuckle.
“I’m not quite sure myself,” Matt looked over to Samuel and gave him a small smile. Samuel looked at him and thought about his words, then came to a realization. Once he did, he smiled back, “Little boy, or little girl?”
“But that don’t matter to you, does it?”
“It doesn’t.” Samuel looked over to the other side of the street. His head was clearing. He took another drink from the water bottle, then got up and walked to the edge of the walkway. The sun lashed onto his eyes, but he heeded it’s rays better than before. He handed Matt the water bottle, which Matt promptly shook his head towards. Samuel smiled at the notion. Matt took the cigarette out of his mouth, another puff of smoke leaving his lips, and then asked him, “Work?”
“Not anymore.” Matt placed the cigarette back in his mouth, and then peered off to the other side. He didn’t seem like he was in much of a rush, Samuel thought. The bus didn’t seem like it would come for a while, and that made Samuel feel uneasy. He began pacing back and forth on the sidewalk, slowly, but surely remembering something as his last night’s stupor wore off. Matt noticed this, but didn’t make much of it as he continued to stand with his smoke.
“Not anything you think,” Samuel said, seemingly directed to no one. Matt listened.
“Didn’t get laid off, didn’t run away. Just needed a break.” Samuel was fidgeting on the spot. His legs were shaking, and his head was clearing from whatever toxins that it had been buried with before. Undoubtedly so, Samuel knew who he was, and what he did, and what had happened. He cleared his throat an unhealthy number of times before speaking again, “But things happen don’t it Matt. Before you know it everything winds up in a bottle and a pack. But that isn’t you. It’s me.”
“Why can’t it be me?”
“Because you’re in a shadow. You’re the one hiding from everything else in this world, and hell if that’s not the best solution than I don’t know what is.” Matt looked at Samuel, and Samuel back to Matt, eyeing what he had on.
“You ever have one?” Matt asked.
“You know, one of them. Another one just like you.” Matt smiled as he dropped the cigarette on the floor and smothered it with his foot, “You’re insane. Drunk, and insane, but you’ve had one before.”
“That’s the kind of thing that makes you want to work hard.” The bus was in sight, “And when it ends, it makes you want to work less hard,” Matt finished with a smirk as he climbed aboard the bus. Samuel was left on the bus stop, an egregious feeling residing over him as he realized that he had no money, no phone, and now no one to talk to. Samuel laughed at his situation, and then began walking opposite the bus, and towards a destination where he himself did not know.
“Excuse me?” Samuel looked down as he noticed a small boy to his side. Samuel had walked for perhaps miles, lost in some twisted reverie, unknowing to his ennui, and had ended up stranded in a mist of complete confusion. In short, he was lost.
“Mister?” The small boy asked Samuel again. He had short black hair that barely reached his eyes. He was barely at Samuel’s shoulder, though he didn’t at all seem that lost. Most kids who were lost were more worried, Samuel thought. This boy was far too clean and far too calm. Samuel bent to his knees to meet the boys eyes, and then asked, “What’s wrong?” The boy shook his head vehemently, “Not me, mister.” Samuel looked at the boy with a questioning turn, and then asked again, “With me?” The boy nodded.
“Do you think there’s anything wrong with me?” The boy nodded again. Perhaps it was in the way he walked that clued the small boy to conclude that, but Samuel didn’t believe it. He didn’t want to think he had a problem, though he already knew that it was true.
“Do you know what’s wrong with me?” Samuel had asked a small boy for consolation. He thought the notion was completely nullifying. However, he had no other choice it seemed. There was only one person now that could help Samuel get his bearings. Samuel figured that he could get the small boy to help him find a relevant landmark, to allow him to leave his insidious state.
“You’re sad, mister. Did your mom leave you? I get sad when my mom leaves me.” Though Samuel didn’t know what to expect from a small boy’s mouth, he laughed, “No, my mom didn’t leave me.”
“Sometimes my mom tells me that strangers on the street are the saddest people,” the small boy said.
“The saddest people? Why does your mom say that?”
“Because they all seem uncomfortable.”
“She said that when people are walking with other people, it’s scary, and since they have to do that every day, they get sad.”
“Did she say why they get sad?”
“Because you can never see a person you meet on the street again, and you can never change where you walked when you’re done. Everything after your walk is the past. She said it’s fleeting.” The small boy flubbed the last word, but Samuel understood what the small boy’s mom meant. It was an excuse for indolent traversal means. A way for the common man to step up and fight back everything that the world means. It was a way of thinking that didn’t seem all too far from what Samuel would consider as correct. Samuel liked that ideal, that world where people would fear walking, a world so fleeting that people would cherish relationships. It was a world filled with tacit knowledge of the human nature. It was a world that Samuel gave up.
“What’s your name?” Samuel finally asked.
“I’m Sammy!” Sammy said with great enthusiasm.
“Then, do you know where your mom or dad is? Or even your house?” The boy shook his head before he answered, “They’re not home right now, so that’s why I’m out playing.” Samuel sighed, and then said, “Are there any police stations around?” The boy thought about it, and then said, “Follow me!” Samuel followed Sammy. It wasn’t until his legs began straining that Samuel noticed the large dying sun above him. The streets around him were eerily empty, with the small winds blowing across the sunken trees and the old gravel of the walkway brushing against the sole of their shoes. It was a warm day.
“Are you sad, Sammy?” Samuel asked.
“I don’t think so.”
“You don’t think your mom is right?” Sammy thought about it as he skipped along, leading Samuel.
“I think my mom is right. But I don’t think I’m sad.” Samuel wanted to ask why, but he knew that asking such a question, to such a person, would yield no answer. There was no way he was laconic enough to give Samuel a satisfying response, he thought. Such a thing would be left to himself.
“Do you have any siblings?” The boy shook his head. Soon enough, Sammy had led Samuel to the police station. Samuel thanked Sammy, and walked forward, opening the door to the station and greeting the front desk. Samuel opened his mouth in preparation to ask for a map and for a nearby bank, but before he could mutter any words, a wandering officer pulled out his pistol, “Don’t move!” The officer circled Samuel, and then smiled. Samuel put both of his hands up and smiled back.