Disclaimer: THIS IS NOT PART OF THE CHILDREN’S BOOK! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK! This is an entirely different project and written from a much different voice. So… you’ve been warned. 🙂
“Sunburnt in December”
Chapter: The Colour of Grey
by Senator Brett
Of all days for it to happen, it happened to be on a Friday.
The blazing inferno that is otherwise known as the Texas sun hung heavily against the late afternoon sky, its burning orange casting down its wrath below as it beat the hell out of the herds of pick-up trucks, SUV’s, sedans and the occasional sports car as they inched their way along the anemic four-lane highway that had long past it’s level of reasonable traffic, and had begrudgingly squeezed it’s occupants into a seemingly endless line of colored steel. He had heard that there are moments when Time seemed to stand still: your first glimpse of True Beauty, the first time you hear your baby cry, the few desperate seconds before you die and, apparently, also when it’s 5:45 on a Friday afternoon and everyone is rushing in the same direction at full speed, and by doing so, going absolutely nowhere at all; although, if he were being honest with himself he’d have to wager that the last two were closely related, if not the exact same.
He began fidgeting with the buttons on the radio, not because he really cared about the music, but rather because he was just bored. It was more out of second-hand impulse rather than an actual thought process: like how people push the elevator button more than once when they’re in a hurry despite the fact they already know it does no good, or how perfectly good strangers love to wrap their arms around each other for photos even when it means nothing at all, or how casual acquaintances tend to mention the weather in awkward silences. And, despite all his stubbornness to not be a member of the wretched bastards dispassionately queuing up to the Ticket Master of Boredom & Death, Reb Tramkt sometimes found himself trapped in their rituals. And he hated himself for it. But it was always there, just like it was for everyone else.
“Everything on the fucking radio sucks,” he muttered to himself and to the driver. He wasn’t talking to the driver, of course. He was just making commentary to himself.
Ford Hodges sat slouched in the drivers seat in such a manner that it was as if the curve of the seat had morphed his exoskeleton into a shape devoid of it’s own unique shape and the two had become one living, breathing and smoking thing. He casually pulled a drag from his Camel Light Silver, slouched his mouth to the side, blew out a thin line of grey smoke and said, “And, your point being?” And before Reb could even think to answer, he added, “Or, did you plan on having a point at all?”
“Do I have a point?!”, exclaimed Reb. “Well, of course I have a fucking point! I always have a fucking point! My point is…” he paused. And then slowly, rhythmically dragged out the words, “My… point… is… that… you… are… a… dick!”
“R’ally?” asked Ford, unveiling his best Southern Drawl. Despite the fact that the two of them were born-and-bred, baptized, raised-from-a-calf Texans they had both adopted a natural language and sound that was nothing short of Anywhere America. It was self-defense in a way, if only to them. And it was a cerebral sleeve stripe on being “different” at the same time, and that was definitely just all them. “I ain’t no fool! Why the H’ll didn’t ya tell me ‘fore?!”
Reb mocked back, “’Cause you’d too stupid to know anyway!” And then they both smiled because it was funny to the two of them, and because it was a small part of a larger conversation that the two of them hoped that would last forever. It was a silly thing that had begun as a joke and then had somehow become serious by the mere fact that it existed in the first place.
Reb and Ford had been close friends since the time when they both worked for a small manufacturing company in The Woodlands, TX. Once, on a smoke break they had struck up a casual conversation and found that the two of them shared a strong mutual affection for making music and making laughter, especially if the laughter was at the expense of themselves or their “music.” Actually, truth be told, they both agreed it was better that way. From that day on they had a kinship, a true kinship. They had found the other to be a brethren in The Fellowship of The Downtrodden But Humorous and thought themselves better off for the sake of it.
(To be continued)