Monday, June 22, 2009
Untitled IV - Ed (FICTION)
The sign on the freeway welcomes me to the sate of Oklahoma. And Merry fucking Christmas to you too. I've still got 800 miles to go until I reach Mexico. I need to get some food.
I enter the diner and sit in a booth in the darkest corner I can find. It's a run-down place, and only about half the bulbs are working. It's 4pm, so there are only a few customers inside. No one raises his head as I walk in, not even the waitresses. Maybe it's my lucky day, I say to myself, as I slide into the booth. Maybe the news hasn't reached the boonies yet. There is a TV on across the room, but it's showing what...yesterday's game? I can't really make it out from here; besides, the flickering lines aren't really helping. On second thought, probably they are.
"What'll it be today, sonny?" she drawls, as she blows a big bubble with her chewing gum and suddenly I'm taken to the year 1972, December 12th. It's snowing outside and it's my 10th birthday. I sit at the kitchen table, waiting for breakfast. My father isn't there, as usual; I'm not really sure he came home last night. My mother is smoking a cigarette and staring out the window. Her hair isn't combed and she still has her makeup on from the day before. She has shown no signs of remembering that it's my birthday, but just like every year, I hope that there is a surprise for me planned. Deep down, though, I know that she doesn't care enough to plan all that.
She throws the cigarette butt into the sink, amongst the dirty dishes. The smoke continues to rise from it and cloud up the room. She seems to not be bothered by it. She pops a cube of bubble gum into her mouth; she always chews gum after she smokes. This is the reason why her breath always smells like a combination of sweet and putrid. It's been like this as long as I can remember her.
"What'll it be today, sonny?" she asks as she blows a big bubble. "Cocoa Puffs or Cheerios?" She asks this everyday, when I know as damn well as she does that the only thing we've got is burnt toast with butter. She hands me two pieces on a plate, and laughs, her weird crooked laugh. There will definitely be no surprise today.
"So what'll be? I've got other customers, you know!" the waitress yells. What happened to southern hospitality?
"I'll have the steak with the baked potato." She walks off. She's obviously not from around here, and neither am I. Shit! What am I going to do now?