Walking Home
By Mike German

Was I seeing things? No. No I wasn’t. She was dressed as a Christmas tree. It’s that time of year; the last Sunday before Christmas and people are doing strange things. For me it’s the morning after a party and I’m just trying to get home. One foot in front of the other. Desperately trying not to fall over on the ice and snow. It’s cold and my hands hurt. I don’t mind. Frankly, I’m too drunk to care. I’ve got this bottle of Jim Beam in my hand and I’ve been swigging from it as I walk. It’s been a welcome change from the usual rot-gut whiskey I pour down my neck. I walk on. One foot in front of the other. Staring at my shoes. Daydreaming. Repeatedly telling myself not to fall or slip (I might be drunk, but I don’t want to embarrass myself). My hood is up and it’s keeping me warm. With my earphones in I am separated from the world. Tom Waits is singing to me with his wild take on jazz, beat poetry and his voice. “For I am a Rain Dog, too”. That voice! It is a voice made of gravel and nails and I cannot get enough of it. “You’ll never be going back home”. We’ll see about that, Tom. But I have always been out of my mind. I walk on. One foot in front of the other. I take another drink and let out a small, quiet growl. It tastes good but it burns. I don’t know if I am more drunk or hung-over. I can’t be sick though. It’ll freeze in the snow and never go away. I don’t want that on my conscience as well. My feet are consuming all my thoughts and I don’t want to take my eyes off them. I have to though. I look up just in time to realize I’m about to walk into someone. A guy with his beautiful child nestled in his arms. I feel bad and apologize profusely. He just smiles, places his hand on my shoulder and says “Don’t worry, it’s okay. It’s okay.” That makes me feel worse. I would’ve been happier if he shouted at me, told me to watch where I was going and try to make me feel bad. He tried to be understanding. Sympathetic. I reeled in his pity. I hated him for it. He couldn’t be nicer but I hated him for it. I guess I’m just a bad person, but then again, I don’t want to care about that and I’m not going to. I’ve just got to get home. It’s too cold to be out on the streets. I walk on. Take another drink. One foot in front of the other. I’ll get there eventually. I walk past a prospective employer and he looks at me in disgust. So much for that job then. Life is just one foot in front of the other and we’ve all got some place we need to be. I take another drink.

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Mike German is a young writer living in London and trying to find his way in the world.

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