Barrelhouse Issue One

Page 19

I’m supposed to fly to Sour Lake tomorrow, Birthplace of Texaco, Home of the Hawks. On the one hand I have to. I am broke, after all. But on the other hand I don’t want to. I just want to know how I can possibly deal. I guess it all started because I went to this private university where they handed out pre-approved credit cards in front of the student union. I swear, they were way too easy to get, especially if you like magazines. Me, I just graduated with a creative writing degree, so I’ve thought about writing the people that’ll soon be after me. I’ve thought about telling them, creatively of course, that I don’t have their money and if they’ll just be nice about the whole thing I’ll promise to never do it again. But from what I understand Corporate America doesn’t work that way. Shit. I can tell you how World War One started in excruciating detail, but not what I did with seventeen thousand dollars, plus or minus some financing. And so now I have to go back to Sour Lake and work register at my uncle’s ag-supply store. Manure. Manure. I have no idea how you can be happy when you’re calling for a price check on manure. I feel a presence beside me so I pull my eyes away from the thing of ramen in my hand and turn to look. I don’t know how long she’s been there looking at me. The buzzing of the fluorescent lights has kind of made me disoriented; same with the sound of the Slurpee machine. “I’d go for the black bean soup thing,” she says. I look down at her Kangaroo tennis shoes and her pink socks and her too-short black jeans. Together with a green zip-up sweatshirt, she looks like a young me: the shoes the same as those I kept