I sat on the cold, hard floor, all concrete and painted blue, while waiting for my ride home. For the first time in what may have been months I listened to Frank's Wild Years by Tom Waits from start to finish. I had forgotten that even while totally sober, this record always puts me into that happy-drunk state of mind. Tom sings and plays and I swagger and sway.
The rain came down hard outside while I kneeled against the wall by the time clocks. I scooped up a nickel that had fallen from the hole in my pocket and wondered if I wasn't being too much of a sad sack to consider that hole as a metaphor for the rest of my days. Probably I was. With the five cents now safely in the other pocket and "Innocent When You Dream" closing out the album, I stood up and stretched, all six-foot-two of me plus arms reaching toward the ceiling. There was reward in the stretch as my spine did that pop-pop-pop, my bone machine all elongated and ready for movement.
I opened the doors to the cold and contemplated this small chapter of my life. Bruised, but blessed. Hole in my pocket, but music in my head. No reliable means of transportation, but a ride home from a friend. I smiled and took what I had.