Daily fiction_009 // Tom Curren // Chapter X
He wandered about the streets at night, and he slept on them during the day. He earned much more sympathy when his life followed this backwards routine, and he had long ago learnt that sympathy meant survival.
Unlike all the other he had ever met, he was the way he was by choice. He’d had everything once, though that life seemed as distant as the stars now, like it belonged to someone else. He’d given it up as easily as one gives breath back to the air.
He’d never told anyone why.
All he knew — all he told people, when the brave few asked — was that he preferred things the way they were now. His life had less, but he had more.
He had more time to stop and breathe. That was one of his favourite things to do, and he’d often find some quiet street corner to lie down on and get lost in the sky and the rising and falling of his chest.
He saw more. Colours were brighter, the world more vibrant, and landscapes filled his vision so entirely that he could look for a lifetime and not be satisfied he had seen all there was to see.
In the night, when he walked beneath stone canopies, the darkness meant streetlights flared in his eyes like tiny suns.
He felt more, too. Physically, the ground seemed more substantial beneath him, as if he could sense the weight of the entire planet holding up his body. Everything he touched had its own feel, its own flavour. His fingertips tasted the world with more hunger than his stomach had ever felt.
Inside his mind, he felt people in a way that was once lost to him. He felt the pity behind every coin that fell into his hat, the disgust behind every barely-disguised stare. He felt the love in every cup of coffee he was gifted, and he knew which warmed him more.
Life was more, somehow. It was fuller. The gaps in his soul had been plugged.
He wandered the streets with nothing, thinking happily about all he had.
Thank you so much for reading.
I’m Tom Curren — a writer, storyteller and entrepreneur from England. I publish a new short story in Chapter X every single day.
If you liked this, it’d be amazing if you smashed that little heart down below. You’d be moving me one step closer.
Always take the stairs,