The man standing on the walkway of the small town gas station you've arrived at squints and cocks his head to the side as you pull into the parking spot directly in front of him. He produces a tin of chewing tobacco from his pocket and stuffs what must be half the can into his cheek. The man is a solid six feet tall with the thick forearms of a bricklayer and the generous beer belly of a bricklayer with a tumultuous marriage. His face is wide and round, the jaw covered in a three-day scruff, framed with thick sideburns and topped with curly black hair that pokes out from beneath a brown trucker hat with a print that declares "
You step out of your lavender Mitsubishi Diamanté and regard him with a polite nod. As you attempt to pass by him on the walkway, he places a hand on your shoulder and holds you.
"What the fuck is that you're driving boy?" he asks with a hushed tone, as if trying not to embarrass you.
"What?" you ask.
"That car!" he exclaims, raising his voice. His eyes widen, seemingly in realization of his elevated speech, and he returns to his previous whisper. "Where's your truck, boy?"
"Yeah. Men drive trucks 'round here, boy. Everybody knows that."
You make no secret of you puzzlement. "Huh?"
The man leans in close and whispers in your ear. "...'cuz if you are, I'm free tonight."
"Trans is fine, too. I get down with whatever." He give a gentle tip to the bill of his trucker hat and spits a load of orange tobacco juice onto the sidewalk next to him. "Same love, you know?"
"I'm, uh, a zombie?"
The coy sensuality that graces the man's face fades into restrained anger. "Boy, I'm about as tolerant as they come, but I don't suffer the dead in my town. It's gonna take me about forty-five seconds to go to my truck and get back to with my forty-five. I strongly suggest your tail is outta my town by then."
You run to your car and tear out of the parking lot.
Fucking small towns.