What keeps us going

In the middle of the afternoon, on the winding route hugging the coast, he got a flat tire. The car broke down between his workplace and home. There was little Denis could do but wait for help. He had lost his spare tire a long time ago and his tool kit was sporadically filled with a few, but not enough tools. It was a second-hand car, bought and wrought through hours of low wage work. It was a miracle that it had lasted for as long as it did.

He decided to sit on the hood of his car, using what he had left of the minutes on his cell phone plan to call upon friends who might offer him a ride home. No one answered. He lit up a cigarette and watched the cars drive by one after another. Denis looked over the cliff out into the waters. The waves, the rustling of the trees along the coast, the sprinkles of water being carried up to the road by the wind kept him busy for a while.

Afternoon turned to evening and there was little sign of help. His hands had dried from the cold air shifting down the coast. He had little to rush home to but being broken down over the cliffs, uninvited, as if an intruder to the side of the road was not what Denis had planned. His cellphone blinked and ran out of battery just as the last of the sun had set over the calmed waters. He stepped out onto the emergency lane and began walking. There was no more point in waiting.

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