The Cadillac Clock Hustler was the first half of the day. This is the second half.
It was already dark when we arrived at the place to meet the people with the stuff. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t supposed to be there. My guess is the babysitter cancelled, or disappeared.
We were invited inside a mobile home where we sat on an unfortunate couch mirrored by two equally tattered chairs. The grown-ups started talking and smoking a joint. I petted the mangy animals they referred to as pets.
Bad design and questionable hygiene have always been two of my personal hells. Time stopped almost entirely. There was more talking, more boredom, and more pet dander. My heart was filled with deep regret over not wearing shoes.
Eventually something caused me to snap. It could have been my inability to tolerate the tacky wallpaper, or the threat of gunfire. Either way I bolted out the door and started running toward our very drug-dealerish princess green Cadillac Seville.
I hadn’t noticed the giant oak trees dripping with Spanish moss on our way in. In ordinary circumstances this visage is a peaceful and charming trademark of the south. When you’re running away from a trailer of unsavory people, in a strange place, half stoned on a school night, Spanish moss looks like the beards of angry ghost fishermen. The breeze makes them sway and whisper, “you’ll never escape.” I was so terrified I didn’t see the evil tree root spring out of the dirt and break my pinky toe. I hit the ground like a bag of wet sawdust.
Thankfully the lady passenger was scurrying along behind me in her fancy blue fox jacket. She helped me the rest of the way to the car. I was hobbled and wailing in the backseat when Captain Dickhead slammed the trunk shut and slid in behind the wheel. We fishtailed down the dirt road leaving a cloud of dust behind us.
We stopped at the nearest gas station to get ice for my bloody toe. It was after 10pm – there weren’t many other options. Naturally they returned to the car with a bottle of Blue Nun wine instead.
It tasted like shit but I drank some anyway. That’s the only nun I’ve ever met. She kept me calm and quiet enough to lie down and look out the back window at the stars. I forgot all about my broken toe.
It was after midnight when we finally got home. The lady passenger was now sober and tired. She opened the rear car door and found me laid out in the back seat cradling a bottle of wine like a miniature derelict. My feet were dirty and a trail of blood wandered from my toe to my ankle. She looked at me as if she had just arrived on the scene and everyone had gone mad in her absence. “Where in the world are your shoes?”