Friday, October 28, 2016

                                                            Country Stars
                                                Monday, April 14th, 2014

            I wake up in a wheat field, shivering, with something crawling across my face.  My first instinct is to flick it away, but I steady myself, as a spider steps over the bridge of my nose.

            “You’re awake,” Heather says.  Heather.  I picked her up at a cowboy bar back in Fargo and it was her idea to come here because she said the stars from this site were so big they looked like freight cars.

            Before the spider can scram, Heather crushes it between her fingers and says, “Your nose is ice cold.”

            Heather is the first redhead I’ve ever kissed, ever touched for that matter.  Her skin is so freckled it’s as if she’s been splashed with cinnamon.  But she’s a bit husky and so some of those freckles look about as big as buttons.

            “You hungry?” she asks.

            “Not really.”

            “I’m starving,” Heather says, dipping under the sleeping bag and rooting around for my penis.



            Afterward, we drive to her place, even though I have a bad feeling about it.   

            On the way, Heather nuzzles my neck and rubs my thigh and keeps going for my groin, which is more tender than when I was a kid and took a line drive to the crotch.  She’s leaning on me, making it difficult to drive.  “A little room here,” I say, but Heather just gets even closer, licking my right nostril. 

            She lives in a trailer park where the world’s skinniest cats slink around heaps of trash, rusted oil drums, abandoned refrigerators and water coolers.  Hers is a faded blue thing, shaped like a loaf of bread, near the rear.

            I kiss her at the door, feeling sheepish, not knowing how to say goodbye in a way that won’t make me seem sleazy.

            Heather grabs my wrist so sudden it startles me, and then she’s tugging me inside where an enormous woman sits around a table smoking, wearing a corduroy robe that looks to have been gnawed on by a legion of rats.

            The woman doesn’t bother getting up when I’m introduced, probably because the effort would require a crane. 

            Heather calls her “Momma.”  She tells Momma that I’m her boyfriend.  “We watched stars all night,” Heather says.  “Well, not all night,” Heather grins, winking.

            “Good…for…you…girl” Momma says, the words coming out slow, as if from a stroke victim.

            When I say, “We just met,” Momma says, “Yeah…shit,” and winks at me through a dragon of smoke.

            “Come on,” Heather says, yanking on my arm again.  “My room’s in the back.”

            Her room is only fifteen feet away because this is a very small trailer.  I can smell what Mamma had for dinner (liver and onions) and when she last used the toilet (very recently).  Everything mixes with the pungent odor of cat piss, Budweiser and wet dog.

            Heather locks the door behind me, pushing me on her bed so that a cloud of dust fills the air.  Her sweater comes off in a jiff before she goes for the zipper on my pants.

            “Hey,” I say, “what are you doing?”

            “If you thought you saw God last night, this morning the Holy Ghost is showing up.”

            “I can’t.”

            “You don’t have to do anything.  Just lay back and enjoy the rodeo.”

            “Really,” I say, “I can’t.”

            Heather keeps struggling for a grip.

            “I mean it.”

            Then she bites me on the arm.

            “What the hell?”

            “Let’s do it rough.”

            When I jump off the bed she lunges.  I try to shrug her off but she nips at my neck and claws my chin with jagged nails.  I hear Momma let out a trombone fart.

            “Heather wait, I’m married.”

            “So am I,” she says. 

            She won’t get off me. 

            “I have herpes,” I lie.

            “So do I!” she says.

            I’ve never hit a girl in my life, but I don’t see how I’m going to get her off me.

            “Okay,” I say.  “Okay, but can I use the bathroom first?  I have to pee so bad, I’ll never get an erection.”

            “You can give me a golden shower if you want.”

            “You’re kidding.”

            “Just don’t get any in my eyes.”

            “I think I’ll take a pass on that.”

            “Spoil sport.”

            She shows me to the bathroom.  It’s coat closet-small and reeks of feces.  There’s a window, but it’s tiny and closed and I’d never be able to fit through it, even as skinny as I am. 

            Heather’s shadow is under the door.   “Hurry up,” she says.  “Now I have to go, too.”

            “I might be a while.  I’ve got to do the other.”

            “Take a dump?”

            I’ve always hated when people say that, and now it makes me feel filthy.  “Yes.”

            “It doesn’t bother me.  When nature calls, what’re you gonna do?”

            “Well, I’m sort of shy about that kind of thing.”

            “You’re shy,” Heather chuckles.  “Yeah, right.”

            “A little privacy.  Please?  Constipated sex is no good.”

            She thinks this over.  “Well, okay, but squeeze that brick out fast as you can.  I’ll go pee outside.”

            “Thanks.  I’ll be done in less than five minutes.”

            “Better be,” she says.

            I wait thirty seconds, then fly out of the bathroom, but big Momma has somehow managed to get out of the chair and she’s blocking my way, intentionally or otherwise I can’t tell, so my only option is to tuck my head and ram her belly.  It’s like diving into a vat of hamburger.  I do it again, using my shoulders, but she only grunts.  Finally I grab one of her massive legs and when she falls backward the whole trailer rocks.

            Heather comes in buttoning her pants.  “What the hell happened?”

            “She fell,” I say.  “I think she might be having a stroke.”

            “Oh god!  Momma!”

            When Heather bends down to check on the huge woman, I jump over Momma and sprint out the front door.

            “Where are you going?” Heather calls.

            Two black Rottweilers come ripping down the road toward me.  I make it inside the car and start the motor before they leap against my window.  I back out, tires spitting dirt and pebbles.  I switch gears and gun the accelerator.  One dog flies off the hood, the other squeals.  In the rearview Heather is running after me, shouting and waving her arm, holding what looks to be a butcher’s knife.



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