by Kenner Lynn
New piece kinda documenting my last few years....loosely
| The now silent house yearned for movement, but Trent could not seem to get off the couch. He just lay there and listened to the wind howl through the broken windows. This was not his house, though he had been sleeping there for almost a month now. The couch he found about a mile down the road. It had taken him nearly two days to drag, push, and flip it through the weeds and brambles of the field down the road. He knew however, that as soon as this bit of weather broke he would have to move on. He couldn’t stay here forever. It wasn’t his house after all. He hadn’t had a home for almost two years now. But this had been nice. It was abandoned, but clean; having been one of the many empty after the last economic downturn. He turned in his sweat stained sleeping bag and ran his fingers through the tangled knot that used to be his hair. He would give just about anything for a shower. Maybe tomorrow would hold better luck. Right now he just waited for the storm to end, waited for morning.
The sun crawled into the sky with the painstaking slowness of a drunk waking after a three day binge. The first rays pierced Trent’s eyelids and brought him to another day. The wind had stopped, and so had the rain. Life however, must go on. Trent rolled up his bed roll, stuffed his soiled clothes into his old frame pack, slid his blistered feet into his ruined boots, and said goodbye to yet another home. No, it wasn’t a home, it was just shelter.
He laughed at the thought, bitterly remembering a time when he used to avoid people like himself. It had only been three years ago when Trent Billingsworth had been somebody. He had the fancy car, the fancy title, and the pocket full of plastic that defined success in modern day America. Now, all that was gone; a failed marriage had led to a little drinking, then to more. That had caused more than a few problems at work, which led to more drinking. Soon he couldn’t pay the twelve hundred dollar mortgage that his now ex-wife had talked him into. Trent managed to hang on for a while, and keep up pretenses. There had been the savings, the retirement fund, selling price of his car, his inheritance, but those things only postponed the inevitable. One day he woke up and realized that he was penniless, and evicted. Now he was just like all the other faceless people that he had shunned his entire privileged life. Trent Billingsworth was now homeless, a tramp, a bum, and almost proud of it.
Trent didn’t bother heading towards the road. No need, no one was going to offer a forty year old man, unshaven, unwashed, and wearing a tattered remnant of someone’s golf outfit a ride any time in the near future. Besides, it wasn’t like he had anywhere to actually go or be. Chalk one up for homelessness, no schedule. He knew he was headed more or less south, winter was coming and he didn’t want to be caught out in any really bad weather. Trent had already drifted through several states, wasn’t sure how many. He had stopped counting things a long time ago, things like days, meals, or how long it had been since he had talked to his children. He missed them the most. Nothing else really bothered him about living this way except the weather. Being homeless in a way was liberating. He had no bills, no worries, except for the weather and the occasional run in with other wanderers.
Around midday he came out of the woods on a small two lane road. He stood there for a minute, looking down the blacktop in both directions. Trent was trying to get a feel for which way to go. Finally he turned left and started following the lonely little road. There was not much traffic, only the occasional pickup truck or dirty battered sedan. This was obviously not a major thoroughfare. That didn’t bother Trent. He liked desolation. In the back of his mind he had a desire to head more or less west. Something about the emptiness of the desert states that just seemed to call to him. Now however judging by the sun he was headed south once again. He actually wasn’t too sure what state he was currently in. He could be in Georgia, Alabama, or even Florida. The tags on the passing cars didn’t help. This close to the state line you couldn’t rely on that. A lot of folks lived in one and worked in another. After about an hour he came across a highway sign. It seemed he had crossed the Florida line at some point.