The Cough. The deep lung mongrel. Misery and suffocation, together again. At last. The Van Man spit up, caught his breath and cracked open a cold shitty beer. He guzzled a quick gulp. The fizz burned his aching throat. Van Man slumped in the van's driver seat and looked out into the cloudy evening. Perhaps, a cigarette? One for old time's sake. But he had no smokes. And he was too broke to buy a pack.
The insurance had dropped the good medicine from it's coverage. The only thing available to Van Man was a new asthma medication. It was new, but did not help. The new stuff did something bad to Van Man's lungs. Somehow made them worse. A solid month of drastically increased choking followed and Van Man made an appointment to see the doctor. Tuesday. He would have to make it a few more days. Beer seemed to work.
He gulped the cold elixir and looked up into the darkening heaven. Clouds swirled, rain approached. The van's temperature dropped. Van Man took a swig of the only thing that made him feel good again. He was weak. The coughing convulsions had taken a toll. He shivered from their power. Gotta make it to Tuesday, he thought to himself. A droplet of rain splashed onto the windshield. The Van Man downed the rest of the liquid painkiller. And he smiled.