Thursday, May 26, 2005

Muttonham or BUST

Setting: The Flip Flop Gas Station, 8:40 AM. Camille is making her morning fuel stop. She is in some pain and feeling cranky. A woman is waiting at the bus stop, which is right next to the gas pump. Her jeans are frayed and she seems to be in her mid-forties.

W: Do you know what time it is?
C: Um, last I checked it was 8:30, so its prolly 8:40ish by now. Is your bus late?

silence while camille puts the nozzle in the gas tank.

W: Where are you going?

Camille senses that its a loaded question. Her guard goes up.

C: Muttonham. Where are you headed?
W: Hose. Can you give me a ride?
C: I can't stop in Hose. I won't even be going through Hose, I'll be taking 85 through C*Bell.

Camille is suddenly wracked by a ton of guilt. She wishes to be somewhere else, she wills the pump to pump faster. She knows that a detour through Hose will add at least another half hour to the drive.

W: So can I get a ride?
C relents.

C: Only if you don't mind going to Mutton.
W: That is fine, I can take a bus from Mutton to Hose.
C: What is your name?
W: D*
C: Are you good for conversation? (she says this with a smile)
Stony silence from D*
C: Are you good for conversation?
W: I guess....
C: Alright, get in the car.

D* gets in the car.

D: How old are you?
C: isn't it a bit early in our relationship to be asking personal questions?
D: Let me see your drivers license.
C: No.
D: I wanna make sure I am not driving with a minor.
C; I am 30

uncomfortable silence ensues.

D: Can we go by the Greyhound station?

geographical aside, the GS IS NOT on the way to Mutton. It is towards Flip Flop.

C: Nope, I am going to Mutton.

D: Can we please just swing by and take a look?

C: No
she is deeply regretting letting this woman into her car. It is going to be a long and tedious ride. D* is now making a big show of sulking.

C: (incredulously!) You are not giving me attitude, are you?

stony, wounded silence from D

C pulls over to the side of Ocean St (they have gone about a half block).
C: You have a choice, get out now, or go with me to Mutton.

D stares ahead. C is getting uber-impatient. She is on the verge of counting to ten. D slowly starts reaching for the door handle. Like molasses, each slow, painful gesture a dramatic accusation of guilt. She slowly gets out. Slowly slowly shuts the passanger side door. The instant it closes, camille checks her mirrors and mashes on the gas and jets out into the comforting, anonymous stream of traffic.

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