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LaRue Cook

MISSISSIPPI I headed down to Roadside Café with every intention of finding a woman to bring home, to keep the walls from closing in. It was Saturday, five in the evening, and I’d been weed-eating the trim on my four-acre lot all day. I needed a beer, maybe three. I’d given up brown liquor by then. I won’t say that it ruined my marriage, but it didn’t help none. Not long after I left the Marines with a pension, Emily quit cold turkey. She said alcohol didn’t do nothing but make her tired and remind her of the ex she’d left in Pascola, Missouri, along with the other ninety-nine folks who lived there. That was fine, but it still did something for me. I’d put in twenty years, a few tours over in bin Laden’s neck of the woods, so I figured I’d earned a few high balls a night, just to take the edge off. To pass the daytime as a civilian, I’d started driving a semi for a low-end clothing store, four on, three off. When I’d get back in Aberdeen, Emily and me would have sex most mornings until she had to be at the courthouse, collecting money from folks. Doctor told us I was shooting blanks at thirty-eight, but Emily held out hope, her being thirty-three and believing the Lord had a plan. She blamed it on me and the brown liquor mostly (free will can be a son of bitch), and she said I’d put the Roadside life behind me if I cared about our future. Maybe I did come home limp-dicked more than I should’ve, but I kept the gutters cleaned and the yard mowed. Anyhow, Emily got plum tired of repeating herself and put me and Aberdeen behind her. Saturdays at Roadside were the busiest and attracted fresh 38

Profile for Noctua Review

Noctua Review Vol. X - Neo / Americana  

SCSU's graduate literary journal, Noctua Review, presents its tenth annual volume of prose, poetry and visual art: Neo / Americana We want...

Noctua Review Vol. X - Neo / Americana  

SCSU's graduate literary journal, Noctua Review, presents its tenth annual volume of prose, poetry and visual art: Neo / Americana We want...

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