Whiskey and Rum
Flo was her name. She had every bit of southern stereotype one could hope for. I went to see her everyday while I was in town. She served up the best cinnamon rolls in a 500 mile radius. Well she didn't actually serve them, but she rang me up for them. Some days when she was feeling frisky she would slide me one in a paper towel like a drug deal. They weren't really very good either. I would just visit her just so I could hear her snap her gum. I liked the way she snapped her gum. I liked the way she made me feel.
I was traveling north out of Wyoming when I happened upon the truck stop just before the Montana border. I had a destination but no desire to get there. At least that's what I told people. I didn't really have any desires much these days. The back wheel of the trailer needed some air but that isn't why I stopped. It was the neon sign. Why was there a neon sign in the middle of the road that said shoe shine? And why was it hanging on a stop sign post with no stop sign? Damn hillbilly's!
I pulled into the drive and hit a few potholes. That wasn't so hard to do since it hadn't been repaired since it was first laid was my guess. I figured I'd go ahead and curb my curiosity. The trailer rocked hard to the left and then to the right. I didn't bother to slow down. I knew it would be fine but the sound of the thrift store utensils, my old man's leftover tools and my granny's hand me down cooking pots told a different story.
I spent my days on the road as of late. It was better than the alternative grind back home. I had it with my cubicle and the bullshit that came with every project that passed my desk. I liked my work once.
I knew how to juggle, I was a barber, I owned a 1968 airstream and I loved whiskey and rum. You wouldn't know I cut hair by the looks of mine, but you could definitely tell I liked whiskey and rum. The only thing my old lady said I could juggle was women. She was right. She was a nag. She was right up there with the cubicle in the pecking order of pros and cons when I hit the road.
I tipped my bottle, the last of it, and proceeded with what I thought was a swagger into the grungy linoleum covered shop smelling like grandpas overalls. I ordered up another bottle and demanded an explanation of who shined shoes. Because I felt like it. It was late. The young, freckled redhead behind the counter looked me straight in the eye, placed her hand firmly on her hip with her thumb stuck in the belt loop, snapped her gum four times and said "who's asking?"
"My name is Samuel and I need a polish"
"You need a bath!"
I lifted my arm to smell the subject of discussion. She was right.
She became my wife.