Go for broke

Run fool! Run!

I breathe heavier and faster. Nothing was in my way but my legs felt more and more on fire. I wasn’t moving. You know that thing in dreams that happens when you feel that something is chasing you and you need to get out of there but you feel like you’re in mud? And your legs weigh a thousand pounds? That was this moment.

Run. Get away. But what was chasing me? I couldn’t see anything but I could hear it. Loud. Like a trash truck. The large metal gears whirring together to make that crunching sound when the metal can’t hold its shape anymore. It was coming after me.

But not really. It was clearly just a game. It was me at the dinner table refusing to eat my green beans. “They are good for you”, said mother. But that didn’t matter to desires for a sweet flavor. Where was the fun in boring ole vegetables? My body was young and strong and I could clearly eat all the things I wanted and nothing would hurt me. But if I didn’t eat anything what would that be like?

The hunger pain inside took control. I lay in bed refusing to eat the things that were put in front of me. The monster controlling my urges took over. There has to be a way to eat something else. I took some paper from the desk and started chewing. What was this sensation? There was nothing here. My teeth were mashing together but there was no resistance. Just a flat chalky texture. Not too much different from vegetables, so I thought. Spit that out.

I bet I could find something else to eat that tasted better, but as long as it was not prepared by my parents, then I was winning. But as soon as I crumbled to what they wanted, I lost.

Sneak out the window. Grab my bike. Go to the gas station store. Peddle all the way up there. Dodge some traffic on our quiet meager street. Nothing ever happens out here. My mind was only on quenching the hunger in my belly. But I had no money. Didn’t remember that until I got up here. Well that was a bust. Do I consider digging through the trash can? No way! I would never do that. Gross.

So I started back home. Would I beg for help? Would I let the yearning urges in my body determine my future? Could I produce something and sell it? I passed some discarded object in the tall grass that caught my eye. Why stop? What was that? Oh wait, that might be useful. How cool, why did someone throw this out? Mine now. A large collection of markers. I could use this.

What to write? Do I proclaim my innocence and point blame at the truth? “Parents abused me, refused to let me eat dinner!” That would get someone’s attention, maybe the wrong someone. No way would I chance sending my parents to real trouble, but they were not helping me bye keeping my body nourishment at stake.

Think, think. I could come up with only one thing that seemed appropriate. “I’m broke” I went for it. There you go, I’m now begging for handouts. But I’m just a kid. Clearly that combined with the desperate messaging would draw attention and I would get the cash or nice treats needed to get some fulfillment.

Lots of honks and people walking by. Nothing was happening. I know that person, this is humiliating. Why don’t they stop and give me something to eat that’s better than the gross vegetables that started this whole mess?

Footsteps, someone approaching. Someone with compassion. “Hello”. “Hi”. And that was it. My plan didn’t work. I failed. This person wasn’t here to help. This was a mistake. Someone help, where are the people that care about me? Don’t let this person take me! “Hi Mom, I think I’m ready to eat dinner now”.

My struggle was complete. I’ll go ahead and have those vegetables now. They sure did taste good. And you know what, there was a little guilt on her side through all the tears and fear of a few moments that I was gone from the house on my own begging for food. So much that she even gave me a little ice cream after I finished that plate of vegetables.

Will I do it again? Maybe. Tomorrow is a new day. But tonight, I’ll sleep with a full belly and a warm house over me and a little pride of the chance I took trying to go the distance and make it on my own.

Oct 1, 2020
Phrase: Go for broke
Nouns: birthday highway painting
Verbs: fix plan execute