This page is updated ALL THE TIME as I find time to edit and receive feedback from fans. Don’t hesitate to email me if you have suggestions. I am NOT an editor nor am I a grammar Nazi. And yes, I already know 1) I switch between ‘tenses’ and 2) I don’t format my paragraphs correctly. A little grace, will ya?
I filled up my tank and purchased a few pieces of fried catfish for lunch. There was a little picnic table next to the gas station under a tree and it looked like a good place to rest for a minute while I watched the storm roll in.
I noticed him pull up. He and his truck were hard to miss. He jumped down out of it but left Hank, Jr. playing on the radio. His jeans were a little dusty and his ballcap was camouflage. I can’t tell you how much I loathe camouflage as day wear. It just isn’t right, you know.
“Whatcha doin’?” he yelled. Great. He’s talking. I looked around to see who he was talking to but didn’t see anyone. I pointed at myself and he nodded.
“Um. Eating lunch” I said slowly, surveying the area for purple paint or ribbons, which indicates no trespassing. I didn’t see anything. I also quickly looked to see if he had a rifle hanging in his back window or a hunting knife strapped to his belt. I am a fan of true crime podcasts. I am, if anything, alert.
“That yer car?”, he asked, pointing at my Buick. I nodded. “Yer a ways from home. Whatcha doin’ here?” He walked toward me. Oh. Fuck. This is where I’m going to get murdered or kidnapped, I thought. Today, July 3, 2020 is the day I become hog food.
Even though I was a bit apprehensive, I decided to mess with him. Because. I’m dumb.
“Yeah.” I nodded slightly. “I, um, I just got out of prison.” I told him with a straight face. His brown eyes twinkled a bit. I guessed him to be about thirty years old, if that.
“Is that right?”, he smirked. Goodness. That southern drawl is ‘melty’
“Yup.” I said, nodding.
“What’d you do?”, he quizzed.I looked at him, trying to figure out why he was asking me so many questions while trying to determine how far I could take this before it got any weirder.
“Well. If you must know…I shot a man.”
He smiled and grabbed the bill of his hat. “How come?” He spit out some chew. Another gross habit.
I gave him a half grin. “Just to watch him die.” He grinned again and put his boot on the table seat.
“Yeah? Didn’t happen to see Mr. Cash while you were there doin’ time, did ya?”
Caught. I exaggerated a sigh.”I thought I could pull that off. You don’t look old enough to have been able to get the reference.”, I said.
“Well, pert near everyone in this town has done time at some point so that part was believable” he pointed at me. “But, I learned to sing Folsom Prison before I learned to walk, so unfortunately, I caught on quick.”
Great. A musician. Can’t believe my luck.I half smiled at him to imply I was ready to disengage. He warned me about two speed traps up ahead and said the storm coming this way “was a doozy”.
“Best pull over and wait it out.”, he cautioned.
I told him thanks and mentally began thinking of alternative routes, in case, he was a serial killer. I said goodbye, he tipped his hat and started walking toward the store.
Once he was inside I gathered up my things quickly.That was the longest conversation I have had with a person in a week that wasn’t via the phone. I didn’t ask his name because I didn’t want to know. I got in my car and left before he could follow me. About ten minutes down the road I started giggling at my quick responses to his intrusive questions. Just like the old days, when I was funny. I guess the sweet southern sky and the smell of the luming thunderstorm relaxed me enough to be human again.