Hitchhiker From The West

Hitchhiker From The West

A Story by Wesley V Harney

There is a sinister joy in the raining cafe visit, when the crowd has begun to wane and only the few and the proud stay to brave the progressing rain. I’ve found that nothing so satisfying as the mid-day coffee and peace to write. Its only here that the words seem to fly, I haven’t the slightest guess as to why the fools in the alley hide from the words. There is an American flag out the window, drooping, disgraced by the rain. The cars passing don’t see it, but the army man in me does and it makes me cringe to see. My little brother today was pretending to be a pirate, painting black streaks across his moonlight skin, “Tattoos” was his only explanation. I haven’t yet been able to talk about the army, not at all in the way that it happened. I’ve tried to tell them how it all really went down but the fools just stay in the alley. Johnny Cash croons over the radio setting mood the scene, accenting the rain with careless beauty. We met Tommy at the cafe, Chris and I. He was placed monumentally in the middle of the floor, guitar in hand and Bob Dylan harmonics. He sang like a tired old dog chasing cats in his dreams, wise and sad. We could tell he had seen something, what it was we were never to find out no matter how long we hounded him. First Chris going in with the sympathetic tone asking to take his burdens and when that didn’t work I started in on the old b*****d. Screaming and ranting like a lunatic, I’ve never really cared about how I behaved in public, which is all well and good but I still feel a little bad about the old lady with the heart condition. Anyways, we never did get the story out of him, when he had stood all the hounding he could take Tommy would stand, pay his bill and with a nod bid us good night. Chris and I would talk long into the night discussing what it could be. We’d make up long stories full of adventure and when we hit on something I’d run home to write it down. Tommy caught us telling these stories about him to the younger crowd, they begged him to say weather it were true, his only comment was that “they told the story not I.” With a grown the teenagers would leave and Tommy would join or table and the hounding would begin. One night near the end of his life he hobbled in, we hadn’t seen him in weeks and the reunion was sweet. Somehow we knew not to bring up his past, between the three of us we didn’t speak for hours except to order more coffee. That was the most beautiful night of our lives. Tommy leaned over near midnight and said “Nothing every happened boys, that is why, I’ve lived my last years regretting what I have not done. I always promised myself to live fully and until I met you boys I never did. You made me feel young again, vibrant and alive.” We sat silently for awhile longer till Chris asked what was on both our minds, “Where have you been Tommy?” “On the road, drove from here to California just because, had a heart attack in San Francisco and they flew me home to die.” Solemn we sat there staring into the comforting dark abyss of our coffee. We never got to tell him he passed only a few days after that ominous cafe visit, Chris and I made a pact, when we tell of Tommy we’ll tell of him as the adventurous lunatic that he was and how he brought the life right back into ours. Our rustic hitchhiker from the west beating his way along like a mack truck with no brakes.

© 2010 Wesley V Harney

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register

Share This
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Added on April 10, 2010
Last Updated on April 10, 2010


Wesley V Harney
Wesley V Harney

Hagerstown, MD

My name is Wesley, duh. I was born and raised in Senegal, spent a little time in the army and now I am living in Maryland working in a book store of all places. Write because I am drawn to it, I canno.. more..

Chapter 1 Chapter 1

A Chapter by Wesley V Harney