“BEYOND MARDI GRAS” – Part V
the story continues.....
In the meantime, there’s a little town a couple a miles down the road an I’m a fixin to take ya down there to git ya some “possibles. “They’s a Wal-mart er somethin like it there an I’m sure we kin find whatever it is that ya need to make ya feel human agin. I didn’t spend much time a lookin around, but I do most of my shoppin at Goodwill an there’s usually one in every town of any size. So, I’m a fixin to see if I can replace some of the rags I bin a totin round fer clothes.
She said, “Goodwill had been her salvation a time er two an she was sure she could make do with a couple outfits from there.” That said, we packed our possibles in my saddlebags an cranked up my hog.
When we got to town, I pulled into the truck stop again an we went in an had ourselves a decent breakfast. I asked the waitress if this little town happened to have a Goodwill store and sure-nuff it did. Well, we spent the better part of the mornin pickin out clothes and tryin them on an in general jist gittin to know one-another.
She’d left home the day after she graduated an hadn’t bin back since. Her ma had died when she was still in grade school an her dad an two older brothers had pretty much left it up ta her to keep the house a runnin. By the time graduation came, she’d jist about had all she wanted of that set up. She packed her possibles, grabbed the stash she’d bin a building up an hit the road. She’d called home a day er so after she’d left, jist to let em know that she hadn’t been kidnapped er nothin like that an that they prob’ly wouldn’t be a hearin much from her movin forward. That had bin jist over 3 years back an she’d bin on the move ever since.
Bout then’s when I told her. “I write songs and poems from time to time, jist fer something to do. I don’t claim they’re any good, but yer story reminds me of one I writ somewhere’s along the way.” If ya remind me tonight, a fore we settle in, I’ll see if I can’t find it in my book an read it to ya.” Well, that jist about floored her. She said that she too was entertained by writin stuff. Said she had never shared any of it with anybody an she was more than a little disturbed by the fact that we’d left her journal in that old pick-um-up truck. They ain’t much in my past that I care to re-visit, but I’m gonna miss that old book of my writin.
Well, that sparked a thought in my head an I got to figurin how I could get a couple hours alone to put my plan to work. We’d both been on the road fer a good long stretch an I suggested that it might be a good idea to get us a room early so’s we could rest up before headin out the next mornin. She seemed agreeable to that, so bout 3 in the afternoon we checked in at the local Motel 6. I told her I wanted to get some work done on my hog an I’d be gone a couple hours, but I’d be back before dark.
With that, I jumped on my hog an headed back down the road to where we’d left her truck. I figered it might be 20, maybe 30 miles back down the road, but since nobody was lookin fer us, I thought it might still be a settin there where we done left it.
When I came upon it there wasn’t nobody around, so I jist pulled up beside it and reached in and grabbed everything layin there loose on the seat. Turned out she had a little possibles bag and by the heft of it I figured it must have the book in it. A quick check confirmed that it was there as well as the pistol she had used in her escape,,,, still cocked. I was just telling myself how fortunate I was that it hadn’t gone off when I saw another back pack layin there on the floor. I latched onto it and kicked my hog in gear an got the hell out of there.
Within another half hour, I was back at the Motel 6 an when Becky saw me a carryin her bag into the room she broke right down an bawled. You’d a thunk I had jist gave her a million dollars, she was so happy. Well, after she was able to compose herself, she told me that my goin back to get her book was jist about the nicest thing that anybody had ever done fer her in her entire life an she’d never forget it.
“Somehow, someway, someday,” she said, “I’ll figure out how to re-pay you fer all yer kindness to me, but fer now, I’d like to give you a big ol kiss right smak dab in the middle of yer lips.”
“Well now girl, much as I might like that,” I said, “yer young enough to be my daughter and I ain’t a fixin to take advantage of yer situation. Yer purtty enough to melt the coldest heart still a beatin, so it might be best if you didn’t tempt me too much. I been beatin that old hog a mine down tha road fer quite some time an I ain’t been with no woman in so long I ain’t sure I’d know jist how to handle myself, but my resistance is mighty thin these days an I ain’t so sure that kiss wouldn’t get you into more of the trouble ya jist ran away from.”
Well, she thought about that fer a spell an I could see the wheels a turnin in her head. Finally she said, “A feller I once knew told me, 'Age ain’t nothin but a thing.' He said, 'There ain’t no rules when it comes ta fallin in love.' “Now I ain’t sayin I’m in love with ya, but I kin tell ya that in the day an a half that I’ve been a knowin ya, I kin already tell that ya stack up better than any man I’ve ever spent any time with afore. I know ya got a lot more trail dust on ya than I do, but I’ve covered some trails of my own an I’ve learned a thing er two along the way. I ain’t sayin I know everything, cause I dern sure don’t, but I’ve always bin one to pay attention to things an I’ve learned to put 2 an 2 together an it always comes up ta 4. Now with all that said, ifin my heart decides to fall for ya, my age, ner yer age ain’t got nothin to do with it. I may be young, but I ain’t no virgin…… an so far, I ain’t never bin in love. Now you can take that to mean what ever ya want it to mean, but ya need to know that I ain’t no school girl no more. I bin purtty much on my own since my maw died back when I was still in the grades. I bin lookin after my pappy an my two brothers ever since the day she died an I bin makin my own decisions an pickin my own friends too. I’m a purtty good judge a character an when I tell ya I’m a fixin to kiss ya right on the lips, ya kin bet I’ve already considered the consequences an I’m ready an willin to deal with em. Now pucker up!”
Well, suffice it ta say, we got acquainted purtty good that night an we got re-acquainted many times after that night. The road to Vegas became a lot more enjoyable even though the average daily mileage took a terrible beatin, but eventually we got there. I took Becky to meet some friends of mine who were a part of the “in-the-know” people around Vegas an could help her git set up.
Becky hit it off real good with my Vegas friends and they all took a real likin to her southern accent. They got her a nice job slinging drinks in a high classed casino an helped her out with some nice clothes until she could afford to do some shoppin on her own.
That was a few years back, but any time I’m in Vegas, we renew our acquaintance an I know I’d only have to ask an she’d be on tha back of my ol hog headin to where ever the wind might push me next. The problem is, I’ve got a lot more wanderin to git done afore I settle down. There’s always another game to play, more cards to deal and more balls to break. Besides that, much as I care fer Becky, my heart always yearns to get back to Atlantic City. Iffin I ever decide to end my restless, ramblin ways there’s a heart there that belongs to me. My sweet Mary knows that and I like to think that she knows that I know it too,,,,,, when it’s time fer me to settle down….
Copyright © 2011 Richard Lee King. All Rights Reserved.