Nitroglycerin

17 Sep

To get to Laredo, Texas from the east coast, you take Interstate 10. I was running on fumes when I pulled into a little gas station in Sulphur, Louisiana. It was a little past midnight. I walked into a possible hell. The place was one small room divided into three areas. To the immediate left was a dark restaurant which accommodated no more than two tables. It was deserted. Toward the back wall there was some sort of miniature dance floor. Three couples were moving slowly to Will Smith’s “Welcome to Miami.” They were all older men holding fourteen and fifteen-year-old Mexican girls close to their chests. On the right side, behind the clerk, the wall was plastered with bottles of Budweiser beer. I asked for a postcard after I paid eight dollars for pump number six.
“Ain’t got none,” he said and looked out at my old, orange, German car resting next to the pumps. The tune faded out and NWA’s “Straight Outta Compton” mixed in. The couples remained unfazed in a slow-dancing trance.
“What in hell kinda goddamn car is that?” the clerk said.
I told him.
“Carmen who?”
“It doesn’t matter, they don’t make ’em anymore.”
“Where you get parts for it?”
“I don’t. It just runs until it dies. And then it’s dead.”
The clerk snorted and shook his head. I got out of there before anything bad had time to develop. Last time I had walked into a weird situation like that, I was in Pueblo, Colorado. I mistakenly wandered into a cowboy bar and almost got beaten to a pulp on account of my shiny, silver shirt.

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5 Responses to “Nitroglycerin”

  1. throwingroses 17/09/2007 at 8:19 PM #

    shiny silver shirts are always birthing trouble. Sure somebody holy has said that.

  2. slyboots2 18/09/2007 at 12:10 AM #

    I think it was in Corinthians somewhere. Has to do with a grudge between the Samites and the Hittites. Or something. But yea, silver shirts were involved.

  3. Lx 18/09/2007 at 10:52 AM #

    “mmmm, rich, Corinthian leather…”
    that’s all i got.

  4. cocaine jesus 18/09/2007 at 11:40 AM #

    laredo…such an exotic name to a kid from near london. used to be a song as i remember. as for shiny silver shirts…i still do.

  5. Lx 18/09/2007 at 12:26 PM #

    see, Laredo bring to mind trouble, for me.
    guns and brawls and shite like that.

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