Short Story

Many years ago, and a State somewhere west of here, I was in a Military Sedan with a couple of other guys traveling to a summer Camp in southern Colorado.  The Camp was called Pinion Canyon, but that is just details not an important fact.  I had been reading the  series Hank the Cow Dog with my son and sure enough, the details of those books made the territory more and more familiar as we got away from the cities.  I looked at the map and saw that the next city we were to pass through was one of the last so I looked for a grocery store to pick up a few last minute survival items.

As we pulled up in front of the store, there in all of its glory was a pickup truck outfitted with the dog boxes that the coyote hunters have to hold the dogs while they drive looking for fun.  I would normally tell you what kind of truck and its model year but this big old ford had so many different mud covered parts that it was difficult. Yep, gun rack in the window, check.  CB Radio, check and no rear fenders on the truck, check.  Sticking out of the slits on the box sides was the nose of a dog, check. Other than the infrequent rain there in the desert of  Colorado, I doubt that it had ever been washed.  I noticed that when the lady driver got out, you couldn't see the floor for the dirt and litter.  I swear that a pile of dirt fell out as she opened the door and the squeak of the hinge made it clear that it had never been oiled.

I am sure that my reaction to the driver would have made a priceless movie.  I am sure that I had to stop and stare and would have been speechless if anyone had tried to talk to me.  Out of that truck came what had to be the strangest apparition I had ever seen.  The woman was so dirty that at first I had trouble deciding if she was white, Mexican or American Indian.  Yep, white, dirty white.  I was at a loss to begin to tell you her age.  She had no teeth and had that Popeye look where the gums touch and the cheeks bulge that shortened her face by at least an inch.  Her hair was in such disarray that it looked like she had been hanging out of the window on the way to the store. 

Did I mention the clothes?  A tank top, cut off sweat pants and flip flops.  Sticking out of those cut offs were a pair of the skinniest legs I had ever seen.  if it were possible, they were skinnier than the arms that protruded from the tank top.  I have seen pictures of those little African babies that are sick and have a protruding belly.  Yep, this vision of loveliness was either starving or, lord forbid pregnant.  As this was few years back, women going braless was kind of a new thing.  There on that protruding belly was perched one breast, not two but one, in all of its glory.  It was as strange as if it had been an alligator on a sand bar sunning itself there in that southern Colorado parking lot.  

I just had to stop and shake my head to clear all the conflicting information I had just seen.  It was like all my preconceptions of poor white trash had appeared in one place.  The guys skidded to a stop and had to poke fun at me.  Falling in Love Petty?  On a scale of 1-10 what did you give her?  Like I said, I was speechless and had to endure the razzing. 

If this seems made up, I will tell you that it was at least 20 years ago and some of the details are just a little fuzzy but some of those images are forever burned into my memory like a brand on a cow. 


No comments:

Post a Comment