The centipede emerges from a fog of incense.
As he crawls out of the kitchen into the living room, a beaded curtain clacks around each segment of his back as he wedges himself snugly under the sectional. Jostling his roommates, he gets comfortable.
They would complain, but he pays an equal share of the rent and doesn’t need a bedroom, giving them space for a studio.
These men don’t, however, strike the centipede as being as clever as his old friends. When he critiques their work, they sheepishly stare at their feet: “Man, we’re just trying to live.”
Nostalgic, the centipede hitches a ride toward the penitentiary. A trucker leaves him halfway to his destination. As he waits for another knight of the highway, he scours the ground looking for some small excess that has spilled from the cups of passing commuters who have worn a path between the convenience store and the gas pumps. Once he could count on chewing cotton filters of cigarettes butts, but now it is just a matter of fruitlessly licking cement.