From TC 9:1 – “Already Gone” by A.M. Riley

Each day as I get ready for work, I look in the mirror, questioning the stranger, that guy shaving his three-day-old five o’clock shadow, who dares stare back at me with such a steady gaze. I hate him. Sickened by the shake in his hand, it’s hard not to notice the liver spots and stray dark hairs that have begun to creep along his hands and arms, a quiet warning that time is against him. The razor left on the counter, a touch of water and blood still there, marks the beginning of the day.
The sound of pebbles crunching under the tires of the heavy Chevy Nova is the cue to grab my faded blue work jacket and get going. I can barely make out Jerry’s face from the fog that surrounds him. The sweet smell of weed slaps me as I slide across the cold leather seat catching for a moment, as I do every morning, on the sharp edges where it is ripped and torn. I accept the joint, cradling it comfortably between my fingers. Jerry and I say five or six sentences during the twenty-minute ride. I thank him for dropping me off on his way to work. He nods and cranks up Zeppelin as he screeches bald tires across the newly paved parking lot.
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