Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Writin' Wednesday

Whew! Still coming down off of the excitement of Bunco with the neighbor ladies last night. Man, can they party. Mary Ellen and Midge were mix-masters and Jean-next-door and Jean-across-the-street bust out with some phat new steps. I won a begonia.

I think we finally sold our truck. Devin will be the proud new owner of Purply on Friday and now I can finally have an Outback, as is written in the handbook: Mother of Two Children in Missoula. Purply got a once-over by Devin's mechanic yesterday and the follow-up note from Charlie in the shop said, and this is an exact quote, "This is a nice fucken truck. I'd jump on this deal with two feet." I was so proud.

and now...

Life in the Valley, Part VI

Ole’s is a locals’ bar, squeezed between Red’s Shoe Barn and Lanny’s cousin’s law office on Main Street. It has shuffleboard and pool and a jukebox full of country music and Frank Sinatra. It’s usually blaring Dwight Yoakam – Bill’s favorite, and the patrons yell and throw things whenever a tourist picks My Way. Above the tables along the wall stretches a giant fishtank full of piranha. The little, toothy fish consistently end up in the toilet when too many cigarette butts clog the filter. Lanny and his brother and all the others find themselves drinking and playing shuffleboard at Ole’s a couple nights a week when their girlfriends or ex-wives kick them out. The carpet of Lanny’s car has a thin layer of cornmeal embedded in it from the floors around the shuffleboard tables.

The alley between the print shop and Red’s Shoe barn was dark, and Lanny turned down it to the parking lot behind the bar. He saw Bill’s rig next to the light pole and parked next to it. He turned off the engine and sat there, his hand still on the key, waiting for the song to finish. He could see a neon glow through the tiny window on the back door to Ole’s. A darkness passed over the window and the door flew open with a burst of noise from Ole’s jukebox. A couple girls walked out together, laughing. One of them caught the door before it closed and yelled something back into the bar before letting it swing shut again. As they came closer, Lanny recognized the shorter one as Dawn’s cousin. Penny, Jenny? Lanny couldn’t remember. She was just out of high school. Lanny slid down in his seat, shrinking into the shadow until the girls passed. Dawn would be pissed, he was sure. That girl, Danny, he remembered, what was she doing at Ole's on a Tuesday night? He thought he remembered she was a good softball player. Must’ve seen her name in the paper half a dozen times.

Not much Dawn could do about it, but it occurred to Lanny that Dawn should know what was going on, and as soon as possible. He made up his mind to go talk to her. Bill would be telling everyone that goddamn story about that hitchhiker chick again, anyway. Probably read it in Fantasy Forum or something. Lanny snorted when he imagined a girl standing outside the Yellow Bay store with “Fuck Me” written on a piece of cardboard. He started the car and pulled out of the parking lot, turning up the music.


Anonymous TB said...

I can picture Ole's. Sounds like a great place to toss back a few longnecks and not have to worry about wearing makeup or getting dressed up.

Great descriptive language this week.

4/19/2006 10:25 AM  
Blogger mama_tulip said...

I'm with Teebs -- great description. The way you told how the girl shouted back into the bar before the door closed, the embedded cornmeal, the fish tank...I can see it all.

4/19/2006 11:41 AM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

Things are moving now. Can't wait to see what happens next. You set a great stage with your description.

4/19/2006 7:44 PM  
Blogger The Gradual Gardener said...

I love it! I had to go back and read last week's chapter first. I can't wait to find out what happens with Christine!

You do a good job of writing from the guy's point of view. I don't think I'd be able to...I'd have trouble breaking out of the "female perspective".

4/20/2006 12:52 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Let's all meet at Ole's for a few beers next Thursday night. Isn't that 2-fer-1 happy hour?

4/21/2006 8:12 AM  

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