Back in fucking Texas

Previous: I meet the strangerprintemps1

Roger came up the steps and into the bar. I motioned to the boys at the table and they went on playing poker as though there was nothing of interest going on. Behind the counter the great lumbering bartender emerged in his glossy shirt and bowtie and I said, “What’ll it be, stranger?” as Roger looked around.

The girls on stage had stopped smoking and twitching and were staring too; the crazy Baptist went on banging his tambourine at intervals; old Jeff had retreated into a cobwebby corner to whistle round his single tooth and shuck tobaccy as though he was dying of a kind of unnameable, irrepressible mirth – as though the same thing had happened before – years ago – in the old times. He cackled like a rocking chair on an old porch, squeaked like bedsprings, exhaled like a rusted harmonica, and then for the rest of the afternoon sat dripping and dribbling into a bowl of chutney that grew skin on top, he left it so long untouched in that damned god forsaken place.

Now the barman reached for a glass and started making up my usual; I considered him very well trained.

‘Jack Daniels,’ said Roger, which, as it happens, is my usual.

‘Make it two,’ I said.

It was hot that day. The air was like flypaper. For some reason no matter how hot it was or how hungover you were Frank the Bastard, a toothless redneck with a cripple leg, sat on twanging a reed in the corner.

We both took a long drink, and I said, ‘Where you from, stranger?’

‘Oh, Melbourne, originally. Where are you from?’

Actually I’m from Melbourne too. ‘I live here,’ I said.

‘Oh. I didn’t think you belonged here really.’

‘So what are you doing here, then.’

‘Just want to have a look around…’

He looked around with his big goggling blue eyes.

‘Is everything to your satisfaction?’ said I.

‘Don’t know. Who’s that big guy?’

‘That’s Jack. A very big guy.’

‘Oh yeah? What does he do?’

‘He runs the whorehouse.’

‘Cool,’ said Roger. Just then two of the whores came sidling up to the bar; Louella drew a very long blue feather across Roger’s front as she passed. ‘Hello ladies,’ he said.

‘It’s a tough job…’ I said. ‘Not just any man could do it.’

‘He looks like a tough enough nut,’ said Roger. ‘I’d put my faith in him. And who’s that…?’

‘That’s our crazy Baptist pamphleteer.’

‘So you’re all like crazy religious then.’

‘No,’ said I. Louella started giggling. When Roger turned back to me he was smiling.

‘Alright in here, isn’t it?’ he said. ‘Bit posh. Nice girls.’

‘Everyone’s friendly in Texas…’ said I.

‘Actually I thought they were a lot of dicks,’ said Roger.

Continued here: The wettest thing in Texas.

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One thought on “Back in fucking Texas

  1. Pingback: I meet the stranger | missshitsville

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