Cheyenne Champagne

7 Jun

“I think it’s AK,” Valeriu said.
“No, it’s AR.”
“You sure?”
He snorted.
We stalled out on rt. 40 West on the border of Arkansas and Oklahoma. We both pushed the Ghia into a Comfort Inn parking lot. Through the torrential, February rain Arkansas looked beautiful. It was as if the clouds had descended.
“Bill Clinton is from Arkansas, yes?”
“I don’t know. I don’t care about politics.”
We were soaked. Valeriu lit one and smoked fast, before the tobacco got wet.
“We should eat something.”
There was a small restaurant attached to the Comfort Inn. We both had the best fried chicken we’d ever tasted.
“It’s the buttermilk,” the lady said.
Valeriu kept calling her Flo.
My father drank buttermilk every morning, instead of breakfast. Buttermilk with salami.
“It’s the buttermilk,” Flo said.
Rooms at the motel were $29.99 per night. Plus free HBO. We stayed our hundred dollars’ worth, until we got a gasket for the Ghia. Valeriu got a handjob from the dishwasher at the restaurant.
And then we crossed into Oklahoma. Everything was flat and green. Valeriu slept through most of it.
“We should snap some photos; someone ought to see how flat this state is…”

“Are there Indians still left in Oklahoma?”
“I don’t know.”
“What do you think people do here?”
“I don’t know. Something is happening in Norman, I think.”
“Norman. Oklahoma. Some high tech something.”
“What do you think the Indians do here?”
“I don’t know. Drink rubbing alcohol.”
Valeriu shuddered.
“Cheyenne Champagne.”
“Cheyenne Champagne. It’s what they call it.”
“What they call what?”
“Rubbing alcohol.”
Valeriu shuddered again.
“I don’t think they call him anything.”
“I don’t blame them.”
I checked the oil gauge. The pressure was holding.
“What’s next?” Valeriu said.
“I don’t know. I think maybe Amarillo.”
“You think they got Chinese restaurants there?”
I checked the oil gauge again.
“We should have some Chinese food in Amarillo.”
“Then send a postcard.”
“We should take pictures of this,” Valeriu said. “People aren’t going to believe how flat this land is.”
“We should.”
Then he turned over and faced the side window.
“This country is weird.”


One Response to “Cheyenne Champagne”

  1. Ava Joe 08/06/2010 at 5:58 PM #


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