Breaking Point

Waking on the Street

A shaking on my shoulder brought my eyes open an hour or so later, still crouching against the wall, the pricks of pain in my feet telling me they were asleep. Leaving the backdoor of the hardware store where we’d spent the past few hours, a new day brought familiar streets, with more miles to tread. This time we headed straight south, destination still unknown, at least to me. 5 miles later, we made it to a large park in the middle of town.

It was still early enough in the morning that few people were around. The exhaustion continued with me, accompanied now by hunger. We found a covered picnic table in the middle of the park. My dad was hungry too, so he left me, walking toward the grocery store across the street. Everything went black as I slipped immediately to sleep, while I sat on the picnic bench with my forehead planted on the table.

Milk and Donuts

I woke to the sound of my dad plunking a carton of milk and a box of donuts on the table. I gladly threw the box open and plucked out the bear claw and éclair and began to devour them both. With my hunger and thirst reawakened, I chugged the milk from the carton and let it spill down my chin and shirt. We emptied the carton and the box, satiating our hunger for the moment and coming back to the reality of the night before.

Awaiting the Explosion

My dad lay on his back on top of the picnic table and I returned to my place on the bench. No words had been spoken; no sounds were needed to express the exhaustion and despair we were both feeling. I looked at him with sideways glances, expecting something. His tan boots still on his feet, his thick brown beard holding specs of paint and food, his long hair in the back was brought into a ponytail and his lines of stress crossed over his forehead. His mouth pressed firmly, his eyes remained closed but expressed that he was still awake and struggling with some thought.