Friday, February 18, 2005
A Boy Named Sue
The old lady made several winding turns through hopeless housewives and belligerent drunks. Bells sounded, coins dropped and I wanted a whiskey sour more than I wanted to see what the bat was up to. I sat down at the closest bar and watched the old lady continue on. Her pink feathers fluttering with her jerky little stride.
When I couldn’t see her anymore I turned to the bartender who nodded at me and continued to empty ashtrays. Then he took his sweet fucking time wiping down the bar before taking my order. When he set the drink on the counter I sniffed, it was barely bigger than a shot glass. I knocked it back unceremoniously and held up my fingers for two more. I made short work of them and decided it was time to be on my way.
I lit a stolen cigarette and was about to slid off the chair when the old lady suddenly appeared next to me. She was holding a wad of cash.
"Where did you go honey?"It may as well have been the fucking hope diamond, I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. It damn near sparkled as she held it out to me.
She smiled, "take it sweetie."
Sonofabitch—I wanted to snatch it run. My eyes glazed over with need before I snapped myself back. She was setting me up, as soon as I pulled it from her fingers the old cow would probably scream bloody murder."
No thanks" I muttered and started to walk away.She grabbed my arm."Look honey" her voice got two octaves deeper."I laid on my back for 15 years before a Johnny cleaned me up and took me home. He was the biggest ass in the world thinking he could make a whore a wife—but I loved him for it. I have two kids that won’t talk to me, and grandkids I have never seen. So you take the money."
She pressed it into my hand and squeezed so hard I thought her bones would break. The old lady walked away before I could say anything. I looked at the wad in my hands and shoved in my pocket.
I followed her path until she turned a corner and I could no longer see her feather cap.
Johnny Cash was suddenly in my ear, telling me I needed to move on. —I needed to get the hell out of Reno.
At Wal-Mart I bought two cheeseburgers at, a pair of jeans a wife beater that fit, a long sleeved shirt, a jacket, 2 tubes of lip gloss and the blackest mascara I could find.
I made my way back to the hound, I needed to get lost for a few weeks, find a job and pray that Wyoming didn’t catch up to me. Where to?