Jim Meirose

All Lent Near Big New Truck Stop

(from w.i.p. Pullers From Space)

               Again nearing the Lent stop why. Every moment every day nearing the Lent stop again and. Here’s the place again every minute of every day where the cop says every morning of every day nearing the same exact moment where he said, says, and will say probably always, what “Horse” hears him say because he said he always says hey listen Lent’s.
               Oh Lent’s? Lent’s what?
               Over the next hill.
               What’s over the hill?
               Three minutes you got there over the hill. Silly you.
               No. Silly you not me that wasn’t right.
               What you mean wasn’t—what’s the word? Right?
               Stick the gas harder. Stick it.
               What? Over the next hill was the right thing but. Now it’s not right can never be right because even though the next is in the three is gone because the first time, wise-back, it was three but now its two and it can never be three again as a mat-o-fact.
               Mat-o-fact? Hah you hunkie. What—you better push harder. You got just one snap left.
               Ug. It is not snap is was minutes it was not one it was three and it was not left it was got over there. There the hill—ah—
               See you got it all mixed up so shit.
               Go way I don’t need you now. I know I’m lucky. Silly me I do know on my own. I don’t need no cop telling me so. I plan to have a great day I do eck.
               “Horse” rolled slow right jounced over the drain into the lane leading to the truck park and. Headed there got there shut down locked down and picture the place he’d go first knowing that Otto’s there always set still n’ hiscross the Lent dining room, poring into his papersheets, still planning his big trip that can never be.
               Once saying turn left onto the Interstate 80 E/US 6 E ramp, but now saying fail right off of any Exerstate negative eighty W/US negative six W downslope.
               And below—his thin finger tracing under his reading in follow I-80 E to NJ-21 S in Newark. Take exit 15 from I-280 E, that’s now just defy Exerstate negative eighty E from Old Jersey negative twenty-one out Oldark. Give entrance negative fifteen to Exerstate negative two hundred eighty W. and he’s scanning it down once twice and more manytimes as n’ hercross the Lent diner room, “Horse”’s waitress works hard on her treatise as usual anymore, thinking deep inside herself temporarily not where she’s sitting at all. Sorry. She could end this task in failure, but no. Look up at the lamps lined up across to purge that out can’t. Think that. This is bettering herself. Because being here’s temporary anyway so. Might as well look at the lamps while they’re there. Yes look at them while you’re still here. The lamps and those nearest swiveling badly dry rotted counterstools will one day be objects of nostalgia. After this—succeeds—oh, yes what a warm word savor it savor ah s-s-s-succe-e-e-e-ds feels warm but no. You’ll be elsewhere and never see the lamps again, but—what—awk, that took out the lamps get them back. Yes, immediately. Keep the lamps in view—this countertop—that kitchening swingdoor, that rubbery pad it bupps against sidewise how many times a shift? Eck. Signing up for school she had to get three recommendations. That was a trip in itself. But; who is counting but. No. Again. Got to knuckle down feel that pen? Feel that pen. Grip it and use it for—there. One interpretation over the next. Exactly twenty-four chrome plated stoolshafts in a row out that way there. The forever fires, burnt down off of every single King’s ever been’s very own royal hearth—always got tended by three or more Vestal-like might even be virgins let alone possible members of some old school royal clan. Phew. Oh—shit. Layers over layers of interpretations and explanations. Okay. That full stop’s smudged over but this is just fourth and a half’s draft anyhow. Bruno.
               And little did she know “Horse” was nearing the door. An idler had buttonholed him looking for a dollar halfway cross the lot, causing slight delay.
               But here and now she got—yes, for example, these Indians are fond of the young shoots or s-s-s-suckers of the wild raspberry, and they observe a solemn ceremony at eating the first of them in season.
               There’s the same large mirror back the bar years back too.
               Okay get goin’ with; if failure can’t be, how about inability? The king married a daughter of his predecessor and received the kingdom with her. The challenge’s now to explain and interpret the following. The children whom he had by her would inherit their mother’s name, not his; the daughters would remain at home; the sons, when they grew up, would go away into the world, marry, and settle in their wives’ country, whether as kings or commoners—heck that TV. Tangling herself into the online classroom for this new kind of school well. Well. Well. Let’s just call it a challenge. That’s a bit more proper that what she called it the first day. How many times a semester does the online professor type in the following? Can’t pay me a commoner’s decent wage just a commoner’s what’s on TV anyplace het—there’s Johnson O’Johnsonette, known advocate for the radical dance stylings in Scarlett O’Harason’s Whipmen, the mostly always everyplace else flatly panned-down bright shine of a musical—see that who the fuck she think he is it goes on and on like an expert up there on the wall, out that fine smart TV bought on impulse by the current menage-ementeh for why. We mean, why? Please class describe and interpret the following. There is only a crowd here for five six hours a day. The other shifts are dead but it plays on anyway and there she goes up there greased up tight with. Please type up five hundred words on the following to be presented to the class at large next week or whomever.
               There’s the same large mirror back the bar years out too, and “Horse” is out the door kicking the mud from his boots out of respect for her floor.
               But—she’s focused on the shoots being cooked in their new pot: the people assemble and stand in a great circle with closed eyes. Class. What imagery’s this that distracting my eyes to swivelslant up again?
               The dancers fling themselves across the stage without effort. It must be true that the author has discovered a style which, when entered, with abandon, without trying too hard or giving two shits, just grips the dancer’s frame vise-like and the dancer is no longer a dancer but an element. The stage is no longer a stage but a universe. The music deadens down but not gone as not gone as the deadly cosmic winds buffeting Earth’s atmosphere carrying who what why how many and how strong of forces eh forced which if let unchecked by the reality that this is not the eternal void but a simple stage. The spin of the routine did not appeal. The line went down once too many and. She prefers not to have the rest of the experience documented in memory or otherwise. Bonnie MacCracken’s political football weekly lipmash-fest tonight. This is not the eternal superboil within the dangerous yet benevolent SuperSun—this is a theatre that is the book and this is a dance so—there you go where you been the last hour or four bet I took ya’ so far off you weren’t really anyplace at all but that randomly assigned seat—merry Christmas! Ho! At three a.m. What a place what a dance worth the money man I am bushed for shit. Quack, quack. Bitte Hans Christian. Bigger n’ Paulieman’s Bunion hisself—
               But ho bip bip bip b-Bonnie.
               We will be in caskets as the same large mirror’s back the bar that way out too.
               But ho where I been—Ms. MacCracken?
               But but ho ho ho see whata bad that flatscreen turned to be?
               “Horse”’s simultaneously paused greeting a colleague out the door, by the way—but this nothing to the waitress. Writhing with the unseen cranial agitation of, God. Okay—so. Why has this horrid distraction been permanently mounted above me? As, all this while the presiding chief or medicine-man invokes the spirit of the plant, begging that it will be propitious to them and grant them a good supply of s-suckers.
               Touch what you can while still un-casketed.
               He’s got the door handle but’s paused to scratch an inappropriately placed itch.
               Why, and. She could just plain do it wrong. Who can look at this Johnson O’Johnsonette anyway? Just plain do it shitty. How did they do it so when I see him on TV, I smell this—smell thus this—smell when she speaks like. Just plain foul it up and everything’ll have been wasted. Of the daughters who stayed at home, some or all would be dedicated as Vestal Virgins for a longer or shorter time to the service of the fire on the hearth. It’s a chance. It is some form of psychic bad breath digital no doubt not needing wire to travel down piping to flow through or open still air to cross and hit me. Chance you take. Maybe you too. Somebody. Lawrence’s weasel groom-fest. The big assignment the screen threatened would come ratcheted toward her a week at a time. Yes, it’s a chance you take she knew she could fuck up but. One of them would in time become the consort of her father’s successor. Johnson O’Johnsonette passing its verygas. Johnson O’Johnsonette may not be real at all. Johnson O’Johnsonette may be artificially generated. Johnson O’Johnsonette looks like a special relaxation of moral rules on certain occasions, when men and women reverted for a season to the license of an earlier age—though there must be some behind the scenes high-paid makeup style super-consultancies, each one of which seems mighty creepy in their own right, slathering the smooth over the plump face of Johnson O’Johnsonette and shoving this fresh baked cake into the TV box whose thinness—
               After this part of the ceremony is over the cooked s-s-suckers are handed to the presiding officer in a newly carved dish, and a small portion is given to each person present.
               He hikes his pants for, he, ho, what—it’s been seconds. Mere seconds since—the lay observer with only an undergraduate level’s knowledge of particle physics, would never hold this big plump of a todaystar, but in the workings the atoms stack so and the electrons bounce so-so and the reaction says to me—and to you—and to them too—no one is immune—that you must have Johnson O’Johnsonette in your word. God has deemed that due to our original sin we must have things in our lives every moment that cannot be looked at without the puke. Cannot be felt without the puke. Cannot be anything without same. Eh brat-packers here they gone turmundo—make your way through the electron shitstorm from up top that—and shit on me it’s my own holy fort—has ripped fifteen or twenty minutes of future out from under me unregainable because you got to got to, got to admit, she is really quite hard to look away from not listen to not be admired for floating up the bog-top and staying there long enough to have his name said many over many super-multiple times. Sometimes she’d rather sleep than be at school but when she gave in sleep would not come anyway. Such Saturnalias are not uncommon at some stages of social evolution. Worldwide, to boot. It would be worse though way worse to spend not three but four years seeking. But there is one thing I must shake free from “Horse”—even though he my best buddy’s not yet rolled in—in our own country traces of them long survived in the practices of May Day and Whitsuntide, if not of Christmas. And what the hell. It’s been four years. So what is it’s five? And thank God, too. There has to be some effort expended. Or seven. As Demeter personified the corn which was so commonly called by her name from the time of Homer downwards, and as she and Persephone’s individualities had merged in a single substance, it follows that when sufficient energy’s expended she will tear fully free. Of of of. Or never even. Who the shit-pot stankie would care anywhy? Et!
               Her Mom worked in Scarlett’s Skagnies down the Teleponikenne Highway-bahn three years, then pulled twelve at Big Treats for Children’s Lunchlonelinette complete with Mass Factory and mini-distribution center built out the sides. Then, after that, with the Dynasournian Bar Rattlers vs. Dem Skinkies bar rattling traveling Rescue-Press.
               And though it was not meant to be for me this way, but she got me a waitstaff position at the Packedgeka Slurp n’ Sip Bar Eatery. And only because she knew someplace’s buddy. Finally schoolfree children need positions so.
               Here I was got but. It is just all temporary.
               They then reverently and decorously eat it.
               It was time
               <but if>
               And had been <or> what?
               This line inspired her butt but. Sure ‘nuff, Sammy.
When she finally knew how to say no to Mom—
               It got said to the ass end of Mom’s last agonal airsuck.
               Gone wasted thus. But. Got to. The big assignment came meaning thank God; on her own for one month with the books pens and pads and and. But no. Look up at the lamps lined up across to purge that out can’t. Think that. Because being here’s temporary anyway so. Might as well look at the lamps while they’re there. The nearest swiveling counterstool’s badly dry rotted. So; pick up the pen where was she let’s see but—
               Eh, “Horse”! Glad you swung by. How was the run?
               —oh, to the melancholy gloom and decay of autumn and to the freshness, the brightness, and the verdure of spring—
               What? What did that mean?
               What are you talking about?
               What you said.
               I don’t think I said anything.
               —go get grip my God that—the tv screw the tv must have been the tv said that eh eh—
               Say, “Horse”—look what’s new. Check the tv up my head.
               Hey, shit. That’s pretty low. On the diner. It was hard. In the diner between serves. This one that one. Break the chain pick it up it whips ‘round the tore ends hide places sometimes. Gonna bang your head, he said. She responded fully there with, Is that a nice way of saying I’m too tall eh there, “Horse”.
               Aw, no—but anyway. I’ll have the regular. Coffee first.
               That’s true.
               The waitress slid leftwise behind the counter toward the pot as “Horse”’s tired eyes read mindlessly the open book by her crab handed scripted through composition pad—the book said, Demeter and Persephone—one of the few myths in which its origin to some of the most familiar, yet eternally affecting aspects of nature—
               The tap of the cup she let down his line of sight took out the wordstring and he said, What’s that book you’re reading there? Pretty fancy writing that.
               Oh. You read my book? You should have asked permission.
               What if it had been something I wouldn’t want you to know I read?
               What do you mean?
               What if it had been something personal?
               Like what? What would be too personal?
               Well. Of my private life you know nothing of. As I know yours. Which is not at all. That’s one. Hey? Need more?
               Yas yesso.
               Okay—who might I be going with? Or not. Or who I might love. Or hate. Eitherwise it nobody’s business. Yours included.
               That is quite cold.
               Hokay I know. Cold but true. And last. You don’t know. This book here I might be reading to find words of reasons not to end it all. You know hey?
               Ah. You got no urge to end it all.
               You sure?
               How does somebody with an urge to end it all talk and act?
               The opposite of us.
               Ah, hey! Me I know, but—us? I really know nothing about you.
               They tittered and “Horse” drank back half the cup too hot though it was and all at once, but—he could not tell her what he thought to say next. Otto had motioned her over for more coffee. From his warming cupped hands up he looked—to the TV’s next show instantly oversweeping the screen pulled out his eyes to she’s forgotten for now eh what’s on.

Jim Meirose's work has appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including Calliope, Offbeat/Quirky (Journal of Exp. Fiction pub,), Permafrost, North Atlantic Review, Blueline, Witness, and Xavier Review, and has been nominated for several awards. Published books include: Understanding Franklin Thompson (Exp. novel - JEF pubs), Sunday Dinner With Father Dwyer (Exp. Novel - Optional Books), Inferno (E-Chap - Underground Voices), Mount Everest and Eli the Rat (Lit. Novels - Montag). Visit www.jimmeirose.com to know more.
previous page     contents     next page


Post a Comment

<< Home