One Night in Austin.

Conversation with my favorite clerk in Austin the night before I leave town:


“Just the beer?”                                                     “That’s right.”
My buddy grabs the six pack, opens the door and lights a cigarette. I grab a Nutty Bar and toss it on the counter. The clerk looks at it and shrugs, “Don’t worry about it, man.”
I nod at at him, “Thanks, brutha.” I shove the Nutty Bar in my pocket. He stares at my buddy, “So, man, I met this girl in a bar and we went back to her car and fucked. She’s a little bit big, has two kids, but I’m wondering if I should see her again. She keeps texting me.” His phone chimes. He looks down at it then back over the counter. My buddy tosses his smoke and walks up to the counter next to me, “You fucked her in her car, walk away.”
“Well, we didn’t really fuck, well, we did.”
I stare at him, “Dude, did you fuck her or not?”
“A little bit.”
My buddy and I start laughing. I stare up at the guy. Not sure how tall he really is, because he stands on pallets behind the counter, and the floor back there is already elevated. But he looks like a Hindu giant. I’ve never seen him on the other side of the counter, and tonight I take note of his head gear. I don’t know if it’s a do-rag, or some kind of hipster do-rag, or something fashionable I’ve never heard of. I shake my keys in my pocket, “How is that possible?”
“I just put it in for a second or two.”
“Got it.”
My buddy’s staring off over the counter, picturing it. The guy looks down at me and raises his eyebrows, “Should I take her seriously, man? I don’t know.”
“Listen,” I said, “If a woman fucks you in her car outside of a bar on the first night, you’re either really special, or she’s a whore.”
“She said I was really special, man.”
“All whores say that.”
We throw some more jokes around and leave. Outside it’s humid and I’m thinking about the drive back west, thinking about the ease of naked conversation like that, which only occurs in places like Austin, and only on corners like this one. I watch the traffic on Guadalupe. My buddy lights another one, and I start calculating the time it will take to get to the border and get a room. If I can get within a two hour range of El Paso before I sleep I’ll be in good shape.

About Jeff Stewart

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