This is a short story written in Google Docs from my cell phone. I read an article about getting so much more writing done on the go while inspiration is all around so I decided to try it for a few days. Enjoy!
Lewis checked his watch as he sat, impatiently on the train. “I should’ve took it easy on the vodka last night. Maybe I would’ve heard my alarm”, he thought to himself as he glanced over his shoulder. Watching the scenery of the city fly by would normally bring his heart to a weird inner calmness, but not today. Today, Lewis was running late and every second that ticked away made him more anxious. More nervous. He couldn’t focus on the scenery. He checked his watch again.
“Someone must be running late.” Joe said. He was sitting next to Lewis and could feel his discomfort from his actions. Lewis glared at him in such a way as to say mind your own business. Joe didn’t catch the hint. “Don’t be mad at me because you decided to sleep in on a work day, fella. I’m just the one that’s going to take your mind off things until the next stop before you stress yourself into a early grave over something so uncontrolling as time. Well, time is uncontrolling, but you can manage it. At least that’s what the big wigs tell us, eh?”
Lewis shook his head in disagreement. “Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t need some eccentric look on life right now, old man. I just need a little peace and quiet until I get to my stop.”
Joe laughed, but it wasn’t just a silent laugh. It was one those laughs that caught the eye of everyone in earshot of their conversation. It even startled Lewis. Once Joe settled down, he began to speak. “I don’t think you’ll be able to find peace on this ride without me. I just saw you look at your watch over 15 times in the past 7 minutes or so. You’re killing yourself over here. I’m doing you a solid right now.”
Annoyed, Lewis exhaled. “Doing me a solid?” He looked around the train car for another open seat. There were none. His only other option would be to stand up. Not the best thing for a man housing a moderate size hangover. Joe decided to play along. He also searched around for another seat for his reluctant neighbor. Joe released a sigh.
“Listen. You might as well just hear me out on this,” Joe said while he was tying his shoulder length dreadlocks into a ponytail. “I mean, you look like a pretty educated guy with your suit and tie. Probably went to some law school or something. Would it kill you to learn something else?”
Finally giving into Joe, Lewis fixed his posture, ran his hand through his brown hair, and turned his full attention to Joe. “Let’s hear it. Take the stress away,” he said in sarcasm. Joe paid it no mind. His only focus was to deliver his message.
“Truth is, friend, time is always on your side. While you’re rushing around, stressing about being late, you could’ve just literally dodged the bullet. If you were on time, a car might have hit you this morning on your way to the train. Maybe the coffee shop you would’ve had time to go to before work would have served you a bad treat or beverage that would have landed you in the shitter for the rest of the day. Perhaps you meant to be late today because you weren’t supposed to see a certain event at your workplace. I say all these things to say that you are right where you need to be, when you need to be. No matter if you are early or late, fate is the true deciding factor of this all. Not time.”
Lewis’s brow begin to relax slowly as he starts to weigh the philosophy. “And what of those that aren’t so fortunate, pal? The ones that get ran over, see what they weren’t supposed to see, or drink that bad coffee?”
“All those things were fated to be no matter how bad it turned out. Life has dealt us a hand since birth and only variable that we get to have in this whole thing is our will,” Joe says as he pulls a small memo pad from his cargo pocket with a thin pen stuck in the spiral bind. He took the pen out and opened it to a clean page and began to scribble. “You see, buddy, will is the spice of life. We have a false sense of control of it all. We as a people are more lost in our phones and lost in social media; never realizing how fast life is passing us by.What ever happened to just living in the moment, friend? Just take a second. Look around you.”
Lewis took a breath as he did what Joe requested. He was right. Everyone around them were fiddling or watching something on their cellular device. Lewis had never took a moment to think how everyone had become zombies. He, too, knew he was just as guilty as the rest of the people here. He began to feel a sensation of emptiness creep into his mind. The feeling interrupted his thought process. It rendered him incapable of answering the question Joe asked. He wasn’t even sure if there was a valid rebuttal to his take on society.
“Don’t think too hard about it,friend,” Joe blurted out all of a sudden with a big smile.”Some questions weren’t meant to be answered now and some question, not at all. This is my stop coming up.”
Lewis almost forgot he was on his way to work. The stress of running late had vanished under the cover of a stranger’s words. The brakes squealed as the train came to a halt at the station. He was starting to creep back into reality again as Joe got up, ripping a paper from his memo pad. Joe stood a little below average man height. His brown skin had a tint of red it seemed. Maybe he was mixed somewhere down the line. Joe handed Lewis the folded up paper.
“Thank you for passing the time with me, my friend,” he said with a bow of his head. “I believe I succeeded in taking your mind away…from stress. Just remember to relax, breath, and…smell the flowers.” Just like that, he was gone. Lewis wanted to commend him for the much needed distraction. Instead he opened the paper Joe handed to him. He looked at it carefully as the train began to move. The image Joe left him drown in such realistic manner in such a short time was without a question.
*The sunflower is very important to Joe and what he does, but you’ll have to stick around to see what that means. I’m writing more now since I’ve learned to take the free moments on my phone to do so.*
Thanks for reading and hope you have a great day!