January and the mornings offered no warmth for those who had no heater. The Van Man was one of those. He wanted to stay wrapped up until the hateful Sun came to heat him up. But he had work. A three day construction gig and it was time to make some bread. He forced himself into the penis-shrinking cold and rolled up his beddings. His van did not like chilled mornings. After a hesitation, the van growled and came to life.
Van Man needed the coffee. It was his life blood. He pulled up to the drive-thru intercom at the corporate caffeine slinger shop. It was good there was a drive-thru. He still wore his Skiing Polar Bear pajamas. Unacceptable Van Man attire for public. He ordered his usual: black coffee and a small cup of hot water with a spoon. The girly voice emanating from the intercom giggled at the request. A remark was made. "It's for my heroin", replied Van Man. Don't fuck with me, I ain't had my cawfey, yet.", he thought and reminded himself of a Spike Lee movie. At the window, the Barista smiled and handed Van Man his order. "Here's your fix.", she said. "I'm jonesin' ", he replied and drove off. He dumped the instant oatmeal into the hot water and stirred.
The gig had been easy enough. Install an attic ladder here, connect some electricity there. Not too much dirt and he was payed well. He worked the job with The Foreman, a tough old hippie with a glint in his eye and a smirk. An easy dude to work with, for sure. The Foreman had a way of dispensing advice as easily as he hammered a nail. And he was a master at both. "Listen, man, life is over before you know it. Twenty years'll pass and you'll be, like, whoa! What just happened ?" Van Man just listened. "People have it wrong, man. They like to live in the past or live for the present. You ever hear someone say you gotta live in the present? Well, that's bullshit, man. You live for the future. See, that's the reality. Alright, you see that stop sign? See, we can have a good time and talk as we drive toward it. But, I know--I see it coming. I already know that I've got to prepare for it. I've got my foot situated, I begin to slow up, let off the gas. 'Cause I know it's right there, man. But I can still enjoy the moment. I can have my coffee. It's all about planning for the future, but enjoying yourself while you do it. See, man?" "Yeah", answered Van Man.
The Van Man thought about Foreman's words throughout the day. There was an importance to them. Van Man finished the clean-up and was ready to leave. The weekend had arrived and he wanted his pay. The Foreman was nowhere to be found. Van Man was alone to think about those words from earlier. He was out in the world. He had a plan for the future, but he still enjoyed the present. Van Man was alive and fighting and scratching for the dream. He was instantly filled with a tremendous feeling. Hope. The bathroom door behind him opened. The Foreman stepped out and quickly shut the door behind him. "Don't go in there, man. I just pooted."
The van drove over the hill into The Valley. The Van Man felt refreshed and anew. He had money in his pocket and the weekend was the present. Big things would come in twenty-fifteen and some already had. The van baked under The Sun. He rolled down the windows. Those who had no air-conditioning had to do it. The Van Man was one of those.