By Teej Grant
Read by Ben Phillips
Paul Toland liked it best as high up as he could squirrel himself beneath the bridge, right up there at the nexus, where with superstructure of the bridge itself sliced in to connect with the finished concrete of the street. Here, with his bag of belongings, his bottle, and his razor, he felt safe and content. A small voice from his earlier life told him that this was only a primitive retreat to the womb fantasies that everyone had somewhere in their subconscious; he told the small voice to shut the hell up.
Paul was younger than most of the residents under the bridge and in somewhat better condition (though certainly no poster boy for Health & Fitness Magazine), so he had little to fear from the rest of them. In fact, he was sort of like their king. As long as those damned spike-haired, body-pierced punkers stayed on their own turf, anyway.
Tonight was a sweet one. Late May, nighttime temperature hovering around seventy, almost too warm, but with a frisky and teasing wind to alleviate any discomfort, bringing with it the salty taste of the Bay. It was moonless and quiet, too. By four a.m., Paul was in a deep sleep that was unbroken by even the dreams that tended to haunt his nights.