Sitting in a restaurant he had never patronised, having eaten a meal he had never previously tasted, Andrew Barker was unsure if he liked the place, the food, anything.
He wondered if he were an android.
Andrew Barker tried to recall sickness or injury, then slapped the thought out of his mind as ridiculous. The next possibility was that he needed psychiatric care.
He rather be an android.
He should be at work, he should be doing something instead of sitting here. But he didn’t want to move. He didn’t want anything but this sense of himself.
He thought about getting drunk or high and experiencing a different level of awareness, but had never been drunk or gotten high.
He didn’t want to go back to work, he didn’t want to go to the place he slept because his wife and child were gone, there was nothing there save housework and food preparation.
The television at the restaurant was on.
It showed a Caribbean Island which had been devastated by a hurricane. He looked at it and thought that land values would be very low now.
It was a ridiculous thought, but he liked it. He liked imagining arriving in a strange place, creating a strange identity, and living in a totally different fashion.
That thought inspired him.
For the first in his life Andrew felt inspired, he felt himself flying in a fantasy, far away from this locked down day by day boredom.
Hey! He was bored! He felt something. He felt boredom.
He wallowed in the feeling as if it were a warm mud bath. And the image made him smile, and laugh.
He didn’t have to travel thousands of miles to the island, he could drive a hundred miles to some other place and live some other life.
As the house was in his name alone, he could sell it quickly for what it would fetch.
He ran out of the restaurant, only stopping to toss bills on a counter, and find an Agency. He lied about being sent overseas and that he had to leave by the end of the week.
An Agent came with him, and made an offer. As quickly as possible he signed the Title over, got his money.
Then he packed what he wanted in his suit cases, jumped into his car. He drove the boring sedan to a lot, sold it for another, something he wanted. Something with zest.
Now, he was on the road, going wherever, deciding to let the wind blow him as it chose. Deciding to be a clean slate.
He’d not be Andrew Barker anymore. He’d use his middle name, Thomas, calling himself Tommy Barker.
He fueled the car, and kept going, only stopping deep in the night for another meal. He sat in the Diner for a few hours, then back on the road.
It was dawn when he pulled into a Motel. He wanted to keep going but was exhausted. He woke the manager paid for the room and went to bed.
He didn’t know what tomorrow would be, but it would not be like yesterday.