Waste not, want more

No variations on a theme.

Woman Recovers in Vegas from Assault by Arizona Desert

An ampm. Posture like she’s been doing hunchback auditions. Slumped at an empty row of slot machines. Face tomato red. Remaining skin white. An exception. Armpit in violation of an air pollution regulation. Also an exception. T-shirt pulled up on her rib cage. Unaware. A scarf pretends to cover greasy hair. A greasy scarf. Slaughtered by Route 15.

The trip to the washroom all a blur. Pacing. Maybe buy something? No wallet. No idea what to buy. There she sat.

The chicken bites™ shine under the hellish red light.

People enter and exit. Gas, condoms, pop, gum. Staring. Unaware they’re living in hell. Hell with craps. A clerk passed giving sideways glances.

“You know, you look familiar.” “Oh, I live in Canada so…” “Hm, but you look familiar.”

The chicken bites™ smell under the hellish red light.

Face still burning. Body too covered in salt to perspire. A pig on a spit. He walked in to buy ice and a slushy drink. Did she want anything? No, she still couldn’t think. Is this deliriousness? Or just hot?  Another slot maching occupied. Man with chicken.

And the chicken bites™ smile under the hellish red light.

Sniff. Armpit requires its own postal code. Must go outside. A slotty goodbye. Skin peeling off vinyl. Doors like biblical gates. Shade is an oven. Sun is a frying pan. Man with chicken follows. Into her deep fryer car. Gestures. “British Columbia, where’s that? Vancouver?! That’s cool! I’d love to go to Vancouver. Coffee shops and stuff.” Smiles. “What do you need to get into Canada? A passport? You probably need a passport…Do they let felons into Canada? Maybe, eh? S!*$, that’d be cool. Yeah.”

A wave of privilege overwhelms the heat. For a second.

“So what do you think? Just driving through? … Hot? Oh, this place is [whistle] something else. No air conditioning!? I’ll show you. Everyone has air conditioning. Huh. No air conditioning. Party on the strip tonight. It’ll be fun… Is this your guy? Canada, eh? No air conditioning. Have fun on the coast.” More smiles, waves.

Action: Cooler full of ice. Ice on skin. Ice on tomato face. Feet in cooler. Ice.

Driving, dripping, icing, wind, eiffel tower, driving, drinking, ceasar’s palace, wind, ice, ice, ice.

And the chicken bites™ fade in the softening red light.


September 23, 2011 - Posted by | Doing it the hard way, Minor American Roadtrip, Travel and intrigue | , , ,


  1. I LOVE this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    God, this prose has amazing energy. It sucks me in and makes me SWEAT!


    Comment by Kathryn McCullough | September 24, 2011 | Reply

    • Thank you! So pleased to hear it. It’s hard to execute that kind of discomfort.

      Comment by Rose | September 24, 2011 | Reply

  2. This. Is. Awesome.
    One of my fave posts of yours, for sure. 🙂

    Comment by Dana | September 24, 2011 | Reply

    • Too kind!

      Comment by Rose | September 24, 2011 | Reply

  3. Great writing Left me feeling unsettled – but in a good way.

    Comment by faultlessfinish | September 26, 2011 | Reply

    • Welcome! And I’m so glad you got something out of the post.

      Comment by Rose | September 26, 2011 | Reply

  4. Yes Love love love… the writing Rose..
    Have I mentioned love yet?

    Comment by Katie Chipman | September 26, 2011 | Reply

  5. […] recovering from desert punishment, I was mildly perturbed (steaming mad) when I missed the “Welcome to California” sign […]

    Pingback by California Part 1: the central coast « Waste not, want more | September 28, 2011 | Reply

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