The glow from the road sign flickers in my rear view mirror as I pull into the parking spot. I look up and catch the eye of a clerk who aimlessly stares out the storefront window, My fingers twitch as I turn off the ignition.
My car has been in a state of disrepair for a seeming eternity. It runs fine, it just doesn’t have the common, socially-approved aesthetics that every one else has. There are no fog lights, no snow tires, no clean back seat. Just me. Me and a whole bunch of useless shit I’ve picked up somewhere along the way.
My fingers grope the compartments. 10, 35, 36. I open the middle container to a sea of asprin, pens and yellowed napkins. 41, 51, 56. I lift the warm, most likely flat, can in the cup holder. 81, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110.
Panic sets in. My hands burst into my pockets. Nothing. I fondle the opening of my camera bag. Nothing. I survey the vast wasteland of fast-food bags, sporting equipment and eclectic findings that is my backseat. Nothing.
Solemnly I open the door to the car and step out into the cold winter night. On the precipice of defeat I kneel to the ground and gaze upon the areas only my feet trudge. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. In one last ditch effort I stick my hand under my car seat in the promise of drinking with the muses of creative expression once more.
Elated I jump up, dust my knees off and skip into the store. The artificial air hits my skin and I nod politely to the clerk. like a wide-eyed child I make my way to the coolers. No. No. No. Yes!!!
I stare for a moment, savoring the sight of the 20 oz. blue and red plastic grail for which I have traveled. Unwilling to wait any longer I open the door, retrieve the article and make my way to the counter.
I dump my coins upon the counter like a Spanish conquistador about to barter for the riches he seeks. “No, I do not want your plastic.”
I get back in my car and savor the first sips of sweetness.
It’s time to write.
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