Lithium as an after dinner mint
2006-06-13 03:44:42 (UTC)


He got out of his car and slammed the paint chipped door. It
was weathered and old. He walked toward Barnes and Noble in
sort of a shuffle. He had on a white tee shirt that was too
small for his ample innards. Probably didn't used to be. His
jeans were faded and the tennis shoes he was wearing were
the kind you bought for fifteen bucks. New. He needed a
shave and his hair was messy and had an oily sheen to it. He
looked at the ground as he walked....he was unsure and out
of place. He wasted no time heading for the fantasy section
in the city of books. A paperback was secured and he headed
to the front check counter....before stopping to look at the
discount books right next to me. I couldn't help but look
him over. He sighed and thumbed through the books on war and
the huge, glossy picture books on ships. Or muscle cars. I
noticed his bare arms were covered in faded tattoos. I
glanced up and saw the drawings of ships, cartoon characters
and an eagle. All mixed together, on top of one another, a
mess. In the middle of the phrenetic pile were words...his
mothers name perhaps, a Star Wars Quote, something from the
Hobbit. I had to know what it said. I shifted, grabbed a
book on Hitler, and craned my neck to see. It read..."EVEN
LOSERS HAVE TO PRESS ON" What? I read it again. and again.
Finally, I looked up at him and caught his eye...and I
smiled. He smiled back. A huge warm grin. I wanted to drink
a beer with him, sit and talk to him. Ask him to tell me
what it was he had figured out. A lecture on the human
condition, the after school special, the inner fortitude. I
just turned and walked away, although I thought about that
guy for days.

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