It took a lot of shivering in the corners of train stations, but eventually I had enough coins in my cup to pay for a date. I was really hoping for more money than this, but time had run out. I was meeting her tonight.
The trick to making people not think you’re homeless is owning one well-fitted suit and polished pair of shoes. I have a stash for just those items, wrapped in plastic so as to keep fresh and clean. If it comes down to it, I’ll pay to have them laundered. They’re my disguise. They’re how I can get away with accepting free samples in the mall–not just of food, but of cologne and hair product and all sorts of things.
Thankfully, long hair and beards were in, now, so I could get away without haircuts or shaves as long as I was clean. I owned a pair of scissors that I could use to trim my facial hair, which I packed up along with my clothes. I paid some failed New Years Resolutioner for his gym membership, which I used to shower and fill my water bottle. I made my way to the bathroom to trim my beard and splash on some cologne and properly tie my hair into one of those hipster buns. No one was ever at the gym in the early afternoon, so I had some peace.
I was nervous about the date. My skin had goosebumps all over, and I couldn’t get rid of them. She knew I didn’t have a home here, but I think she was under the impression I was some grand adventurer, or a Chris McCandless type, with a proper home and family and source of income somewhere out there. I didn’t anticipate revealing how much of a loser I was.
But that was a problem for Future Jimmy.
Washing my hands in the shower, I massaged my goosebumped wrists. They didn’t smooth over. I just couldn’t relax. But the funny thing was, my hair wasn’t on end. Wasn’t it supposed to be if you have goosebumps?
No time to worry about it. I made my way to the meeting point. It turned out to be a hip little restaurant. I felt my meager sum of coins in my pocket.
Shalyn arrived soon after, hugging me.
“You smell nice,” she said.
“I shower occasionally,” I said.
We made our way into the restaurant and had a seat. I opened the menu a little hastily and examined the prices. As long as she was okay with water and an appetizer, I should have been able to–
“Are you allergic to something?” she asked.
I blinked up from the menu.
“Your skin. It’s kind of…”
I looked down at my hand.
“Scaly,” I said.
The curse. I tried so hard to get away from it. My family couldn’t stop it, and now I was the only one left. I didn’t think it would manifest this soon…
Stress makes monsters of us all.
Today’s random writing prompt categories were, “Cups and coins,” “A cheap date,” and “Those aren’t goosebumps.”
Yeah, the curse thing kind of came out of nowhere. I wasn’t sure how to spin the goosebumps idea. Sometimes these prompts end up with a strange combination. Though, to be honest, I kind of want to know more about the adventures of the romantic hipster hobo werelizard.