It sounds big and bold to say “I’m going to step out of the shadow of all those who came before me and make my own name, my own life, my own legacy.” But mice, men, plans and all that jazz.
I’ve been warming various park benches across Windenburg for the last few weeks at night. The last few coins to my name have been bleeding out of my pockets for croissants and cups of coffee at the coffee shop. I haven’t been back to the Lot for a while now, there’s been no need. A flat, hard park bench in front of a fishing pond or in a park is better than the cold, lumpy, bug and bad-will infested ground of the Lot.
Most mornings I’ve been arriving at the coffee shop before they open, having tossed and turned on a nearby bench for a few restless hours. While there I rub together a few coppers to produce enough food to get me through the rest of the day. Luckily the barista soon came to recognize me and, realizing my vagabond ways, has been sneaking me a few extra scraps of day-old pastries that I couldn’t afford otherwise.
One morning I was approached by this beautiful woman who introduced herself simply as “The Kat.” I thought at first that my rugged appearance was calling out to fellow crazed wanderers, but she quickly told me that she works as the opening act at the local Entertainment Club.
I told her that I fiddled with a violin when I was a teenager. She took this to, naturally, mean I would be perfect as an opening act stand-up comedian. I assumed that she was joking, since I have no sense of humor and self-deprecation is something I only do when I truly mean it.
But nevertheless, we ended our conversation with her offering me a job. A steady source of income in exchange for a few painfully awkward nights a week would hopefully come together to start my nest egg. Or at least give me enough to buy those day-old pastries.
Pro tip: if you ever find yourself newly homeless come to a place like Windenburg. It not only offers everything you need throughout various public buildings but no one blink an eye at the crazy man who treats the the gym like his own personal bachelor pad.
While a stand-up comedian is used to being laughed at, I decided that I wanted people to laugh at my jokes and not my rumbling stomach or dirty clothes. And if something stunk it should be those jokes and not me.
While there is something to wandering through the deserted park as the sun rises, following the smell of the ocean, and being drawn into a life closer to the natural order of the world, I was nothing but happy when, after my first few days at work, I was able to finally put down some roots.
Even if those roots are superficial and secured only with flimsy metal stakes.
Finally, I feel like I can make an emotional commitment. To the Lot. To Windenburg. To my new home.