Please enjoy this special five-part series, called The Drifter, written by our returning guest blogger, Emily Vincent.
I slid back into the night. When times got rough I would turn to the night for shelter. I gazed out the window as lamp polls flashed me by. It would be a long way before I reached New Orleans. I didn’t know what I’d find there, but I hoped to find something worth my while.
Things had begun to grow tiring. I began to get lonely over the long years of drifting from town to town, state to state. The old truck driver next to me spit Tabaco out the open window that was letting the soft southern breeze flow in. “I remember when I was your age.” He began saying to me. Truth be told I was only half listening. “I would play ball out in my backyard with Jonny, Rich, and the ol’ gang. Now every day I drive cross country to deliver frozen food. You got your whole life in front of you kid, so what brings you out here hitchhiking?”
“Well, I don’t really know, to be honest. I’ve done this for a while. I think now I’m trying to find a meaning to all this.”
“Maybe there is no meaning. Maybe we are all just human drifting in and out of a series of events. Casting memories upon each other without even realizing it.”
I kept quiet but his words were true. I began to recall all the people I’ve met over my days drifting in and out of towns and cities.
It was a cold winter’s day. There wasn’t much snow on the ground, and only little flakes would fall from the sky and sprinkle on the tips of your nose and eyelashes. I was walking down the street of a small town when I saw an old lady having trouble pushing her cart through the thin layer of snow, so I decided to help. She was more than happy. She was so thrilled that she invited me to bingo with her and her friends. I joined and found it rather amusing. It was a good time. The women there made me laugh and smile. They told me stories of when they were my age. Stories that had me on the floor and holding my sides. Once the day came to an end, I made my way out to the main road again. I held out my thumb. That’s when I met the old truck driver, and he began to tell me stories of when he was my age. Stories that I would take with me forever.