Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Detroit City

The Freiburg Writer's Group Mistress of Ceremonies asked the participants to take the lyrics from a song and turn them into a short story, but don't reveal the song's name. Here is my story:

When he left the motor works it was already dark and cold rain slapped into his face. His hands deeply buried in his pockets, he tried to cover his head with the hood of his parka. With his eyes closed to slits he could barely make out the street lights while he walked home. Slowly his miserable situation came to his mind. What his foreman had said this morning suddenly haunted him. When Bill had mentioned massive layoffs he had been shocked although he had long known that the company couldn't sell the cars he produced during his day shift.  But still, why would he be the guy to be fired? His head turned when he reached his favorite bar. A beer surely would calm him down.

A few drinks later he found himself on the street again. The rain had stopped but there were puddles on the pavement and he had to watch his feet not to step in. For the first time a few beers had not calmed him down but had made him tired. He eventually reached his shabby apartment.

©Political Outcast
He opened the door and went right to his unmade bed to lie down. Soon he fell asleep and dreamed about his home in the south. He saw his parents sitting on the front porch of their house watching his brother trying to shoot the ball into the basket he had once mounted on the barn door. And then he saw himself walking through those cotton fields hand in hand with his girl he had wanted to impress by making big money in the north. It had not worked out for him but in his letters home he had carefully hidden his misery.

He awoke in the middle of the night soaked with sweat. While he went to the bathroom he took the decision to take the next southbound freight train. Back in the bedroom he took his guitar from the wall, tuned it and in spite of the late hour started to sing his favorite song:

I wanna go home I wanna go home oh how I wanna go home
Home folks think I'm big in Detroit City
From the letters that I write they think I'm fine
But by day I make the cars by night I make the bars
If only they could read between the lines
I wanna go home I wanna go home oh how I wanna go home

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