A quarter after eleven in the evening. The van drove on Beverly Boulevard, away from the sleepy downtown. It was a quiet Wednesday night and The Van Man had just wrapped another rehearsal. He was eager to eat a cheap taco and get some rest.
The van turned on Normandie and headed into Hollywood. Van Man spotted a bum sitting on an old, discarded couch that was displayed on the sidewalk. The Bum drank from his bottle and spoke to invisible friends. That guy's got a party goin', thought Van Man as he reached for his snack of cheese balls. A delicacy he allowed himself to indulge in very rarely. Van Man found them for one buck. A dollar bag of cheese balls. There was not a better deal in town.
The cough came, but Van Man fought it off. He was getting better at subduing the blackness. A red light at Normandie and Santa Monica. The van slowed to a stop. A vagrant tried to sleep sitting up against the steel-bar, front doors of a liquor store. The doors opened and a young Latino exited, disturbing the exhausted tramp. The Vagrant licked his lips and twisted his neck into a more comfortable position which looked very uncomfortable to Van Man. Green light and the van made the turn onto Santa Monica.
In the distance, a police car flashed its red and blues and pulled someone over. A transsexual waited at a bus stop, alone on the bench. A man stood ten feet away and waited, too. They probably would not sit next to each other on the bus either. The van took Cahuenga and drove up through Hollywood. The back way.
Van Man was tired, but strong. His sandals were falling apart with his sneakers not too far behind. He was broke. And he was alive. Van Man was acting and still had his city. Los Angeles nights were never uneventful. The cool breeze reminded him that Fall had arrived. Easy days ahead. Halloween crept closer and The Van Man was not, yet, talking to himself as he drank Thunderbird outside on a broken couch. Easy days, indeed.