Thursday, April 29th 2004

posted @ 11:05 am in [ - ]

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Tuesday, April 20th 2004

Interjection of an update
posted @ 11:22 am in [ - ]
Some of you have been asking about how it’s going at the bike shop. It’s going well enough, and I’m enjoying working with my hands again. More of you have been asking how it’s going trying to be nice to Bobby. There have been a few tense moments, such as the one where he was telling a group of people, including me, about having gotten a massage with lavendar that morning. Jesus, what am I, made of stone? It was almost painful to let that one slide, but I did it. I’m holding up.

Tuesday, April 20th 2004

posted @ 11:08 am in [ ]
Oh, now she’s gone
And I’m out with a friend
with lips full of passion
Black coffee in bed

From the lips without passion to the lips with a kiss,
There’s nothing of your love that I’ll ever miss…

She let the clutch out slowly as she reached crusing speed, and sang out loud to the desert. A few miles later, a sodium light flicker popped up from behind a yucca patch, their leaves stabbing up through the sign announcing a vacancy at the Desert View Inn. It wasn’t quite dark yet, but the sun was gone. The shimmer across the road was likely a reflection of sodium bulbs in alkali flat–was that the Desert View? She was tired enough to stop, and the Desert View’s coyly winking sign offered anonymity and a quiet bed, but as she drew closer, the small red unwavering “BAR” sign tipped the scales in its favor. She began to downshift.

The parking lot of the Desert View Inn might have been its front yard, or merely its setback from the road. Several vehicles lay there, at different careless angles, none of them less than a dozen years old. A faded blue gutshot Buick. A primer-colored Lincoln with an orange fender. A few trucks, two or three crossbred motorcycles. Maybe you could guess by how much of the desert had blown onto the windshields how long each had been sitting, how many rounds each driver had gone through. Saturday night at the Desert View Inn.

She killed the engine and the headlights. The stunning silence of the desert assaulted her ears, and she smiled. The deep muffling sand swallowed everything. She sat a few minutes and watched it swallow up the last of the lingering indigo bruise in the western sky. She took a deep breath, let her shoulders drop as she watched the purple pinholed sky, and sighed. Jose was nearly empty, but he would not need to be replaced until tomorrow.

An orange flickering sign announced the way to the oice, both F’s burned out. Inside, the counter was just in front of a wide doorway that led behind the bar. The bartender, a doughy bottle blonde with her hair in a tufted ponytail gave a cheerful “Evenin’!” as she trundled through the doorway, pulling her hand along the one gray spot on the otherwise white wall.

“Evenin’,” she replied with a polite smile. “Single room for the night?”

“You betcha!” sang her hostess. “You’ve got your pick of the rooms tonight, hon, nobody else has checked in yet. Once you get squared away, why don’tcha come join us?”

“Sure. I’d like a quiet room. Something on the end, maybe?”

“We got the bungalows out back,” the desk clerk-bartender-social director offered. “They’re nothing but end!”

“Great,” she said.

“Near or far?”

“Far. I don’t have much luggage.”

Tuesday, April 6th 2004

posted @ 7:36 pm in [ ]
The shot glass had gotten warm in her hand. Once it was cool and smooth, offering agave obliteration. Now it had warmed up to her and it was just another toy. She spun it, batted it around on the bar, asked for another. This one was finished.

The convertible offered so many possible recesses for holding pints and half-pints of Jose Cuervo, the only man she could count on, the only man she needed. Dusty from driving all day and a little stiff in the right knee, she craned her graceful neck toward the next rill on the gunbarrel highway looking for a glimmer of busted neon glow announcing a cheap bed. Nothing but desert, dusk falling in veils of translucent color, pink through blue to purple, aggressive early stars.

Back in the ‘vert, Jose greeted her from the driver’s side map pocket. “My man!” she sang out as she uncapped him. She took a deep pull, dabbed at the corners of her mouth with the back of her wrist, and put him away again. Always there when you need him, never hanging on you when you don’t. Good old Jose. She started the ‘vert and got back on the road. The tape deck spat out “Black Coffee in Bed”–perfect. The hum of highway under fast and aimless wheels loosened her shoulders while Jose caressed the bare calf of her idle clutch leg. Yeah, maybe tonight she was ready.