El Paso Passing (3) – or Sleeping on an Overpass


I look at Mr. Trucker and smile really big and beg in my sweetest, most desperate voice. “Please…we need the ride.” We had been sitting at that damn truck stop drinking the same oily cup of coffee for hours.  The cranky waitress smelled of Aqua Net and cigarettes and was suspicious of us from the start.  After a few hours, she refused to fill our mugs and scowled when we told her we were waiting for a friend.  Maybe people don’t wait at truck stops with beat-up backpacks for friends.

Mr. Trucker shakes his head and leans against his rig.  It used to be some shade of green, but now it’s all dusty and covered smashed bugs.  I see the pink fingers of the horizon spreading out across the sky, but its beauty is lost on me.  Sunsets are only precursors to darkness and darkness is cahoots with the cold.  You’ be surprised how cold Texas can get at night, especially if you only have an army jacket.  I can’t bear another cold night out by the freeway so I open my eyes wider.  I smile bigger.

Bryan’s still standing there doing nothing, which is how he’s been this whole fucking trip.  The only time he’s sweet on me is when he wants to score money.  Last night he said, “Ah, come one.  Go ask those guys for money.”

We were sitting on an exit ramp in Dallas that overlooked some sketchy neighborhood where thugs hung around payphones and crappy graffiti lined convenient store walls.

“Hell no.  I’m not going down there. Why don’t you?”

“They’ll never give it up to me.  I’m a dude.  You’re so cute, they couldn’t say no!”

But there was too many cars bumping bass and driving-by all fast and I got scared.  So I clung to a lonely patch of earth near the freeway exit, curled up in my army coat, my stomach rumbling all night long.  Bryan pouted until he fell asleep.


2 Responses to “El Paso Passing (3) – or Sleeping on an Overpass”

  1. Drew me in and kept me til the last line. Good work. GREAT work.

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