Monday, August 15, 2016

Semi-Functioning

  The intensity of the Saturday sunshine blinded The Van Man as the door creaked open. He closed his eyes and turned his head for a moment. To gather his wits. He was not hungover, but his brain was not ready for the day. Van Man stepped out into the motel courtyard, closing the door behind him.
  Across the pool, a shirtless man sat at the table, wearing nothing but boxers. He had a face and head full of white hair. Next to him was the Functioning Alcoholic. Fake-blonde hair and hunched over, resting on his knees. The two derelicts had seen better days and they gazed at Van Man, who nodded. They nodded back.
  Swiss Miss had mentioned some time earlier that the Alcoholic was to be married on August seventh, the two-year anniversary of Van Man moving into the van. The marriage was to a foreigner on a work visa.
"You get married?", asked Van Man, pointing to the Alcoholic.
"Sure did", replied Alcoholic with a fake smirk, obviously forced.
"Cool. You already do the honeymoon?"
"No need for that", replied the Functioning Alcoholic as the shirtless white-haired man sat quietly and stared.
"Oh, cool."
"We'll try to do something at the end of the year."
"Cool, man. Congrats."
  Van Man walked away from the two and exited the courtyard.  The Alcoholic was not enthusiastic enough about just getting married. Neither was the White-Haired Dude. Or maybe they were just drunk at noon on a Saturday. In some motel on Olive Avenue in Burbank. A place where many dreams had died. And every August Seventh, The Van Man would remember the beginning of his dreams. And the end of someone else's.

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