Snakes and Pills

036 - tails

Jerry climbed out of bed early in the morning. After getting dressed and taking care of his morning routine, he put on his backpack. It contained most of the important gear he'd need for the day. Next, he grabbed his lawn chair, his umbrella, and his little cooler--which was well-stocked with food and drinks that he had prepared the night before, and headed out the door.

It was still dark out, but he knew the sun would be coming up soon. His gear was heavy, and the walk was about a mile. He was used to it, though. Occasionally, Jerry would let his mind fantasize about his mother moving a bit closer to where he was heading, so that his walk could be a bit less each day.

That seemed unlikely, though. His mother had been living in that house for years, ever since his father passed away, and she seemed quite stuck in her ways. Instead, he thought about the more realistic possibility that someday he could maybe have a car to drive himself and all of his stuff.

That was unlikely, too, though. Maybe he could just get one of those carts. He saw little old ladies with them at the supermarket sometimes, they had big wheels on them and they seemed to make it pretty easy for elderly women to lug around their groceries. That felt like it could be a possibility. Where was he ever going to get the money for a cart, though?

Neither here nor there, he thought as he focused again at keeping a good grip on everything he was holding. He was almost there now. The sidewalks were completely empty, especially at this time of morning. They would likely be empty during the daytime as well, but at a time like this, it was guaranteed.

But the roaring of the traffic was already starting to grow in the distance. He imagined that it must be people heading into work early. Of course, things would get their busiest in an hour or so, after the sun had come up. Jerry still had time yet. He still hurried, though. It seemed like traffic was always starting earlier and earlier, and so the quicker he got there, the better.

Finally, Walsh Boulevard. A big six-lane road with a concrete island divider in the middle. There were no signals here, no crosswalk. And yet Jerry had to make it across. That was why he always tried to beat the traffic. Getting to that divider in the middle was always the part of his day that he hated the most.

He had never been hit, but there had been a few close calls. Mostly on days where Jerry had been tired, and his senses of timing and perception were not at their best. He felt good today, though. Staring at an apparently endless stream of white headlights, he stood at the curb, waiting. Waiting for the right break in traffic where he could attempt to dart across.

Well, dart across as best as he could carrying an umbrella, lawn chair, and cooler.

It took a few minutes, but finally, the appropriate break came. He ran. There were a couple of cars still coming at him but overall it was one of his easier road crossings that he could remember, at least recently. He dragged his stuff up over the curb on the concrete island, and then he felt safe again. Sure, he was in the middle of a big road, surrounding by cars blazing by on both sides. But at least he didn't have to worry about getting in front of those cars in the immediate future.

That made him feel better. He set up his lawn chair first, folding it out. Then he propped up the umbrella, which was like second nature to him by now. When he first started out, it had been difficult for him to set up his umbrella in such a way that it would provide adequate shade and rain protection throughout the day, while also not running the risk of blowing away or falling down.

He pulled the cooler up alongside his chair, and he briefly considered breaking into his supplies, but he thought perhaps it would be best to wait for one of the mid-morning lulls. So with that all said and done, Jerry thought it was about time to get down to business.

Peeking at his watch, he knew that the time was about right, anyhow. Jerry unzipped his backpack, and from it, pulled out a spiral-bound notebook and a pencil. He opened the notebook and flipped past the many pages that were already written upon. Finally, he got to a blank page.

He stared off into traffic. Time to get to work.


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