Thursday, March 15, 2012
Consider for a moment a town. Consider a town with a four digit population, three stores, two schools, one auto mechanic, and zero people who are not white protestant straight good 'ol boys and hometown gals.
Consider that one auto mechanic. He wakes up in the morning like he has for the past 40 years. He takes a shower like he has for the past 33 years. He makes his own breakfast like he has for the past 30 years. He takes a drink (or ten) of whiskey like he has for the past 31 years. He ignores the dead cockroaches on his floor like he has for the past 36 years.
He takes a pair of once blue overalls off the back of his creaking wood dining room chair like he has for the past 24 years. He takes off his worn flannel bottoms and slips on the stained stiff, oil soaked, acid eaten, frayed edged, duct-tape patches, tool laden overalls. He pauses, then clasps the thrice mended fasteners over his shoulder and to his bib. The straps pull his shoulders down and try to push his crotch back into his body.
He takes another drink (or ten) of whiskey as he steps into his garage. He moves the cardboard away from the broken window to let light and pollen-laden air mix with the dense fumes surrounding the Sheriff's car.
He grabs a grime smeared bottle of bleach and a black rag. He opens the door to the rear seat of the car, then proceeds to scrub the crimson stains off the slick pleather upholstery. He applies too much force, slips, and his hand lands in an uncoagulated puddle soaking the carpet. It is then, at a low angle, that he notices a corner of white fabric tucked under the seat.
He adds one more red stain to his overalls with the press of his hand. He pulls out the piece of fabric and finds that it is a pair of women's underwear. A pair of underwear too small for a woman.
He takes another drink (or ten) before he throws the pair into an orange garbage can. He then finishes cleaning the Sheriff's car.
At lunch time, the Sheriff arrives at his house and inspects the car. He runs a finger over every surface of the interior and smiles when he lifts up the unstained digit. “Good work. Drinks are on me,” says the Sheriff as he pushes a fold of crisp bills into the overalls.
The Sheriff drives away, and the auto mechanic takes another drink (or ten) as the red hand prints and smears on his overalls dry. Like they have once every six or so months over the last ten years.