Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Rest Stop

#6 Stephentown (outside)
"The guy on the bike left about an hour ago"
Hair pulled back tight in a ponytail, it's easy to see the bit of dry skin that's flaking off around the convenience store clerk's hairline. As she brings her absent gaze back from the digital clock on the register, her eyes focus on mine and she itches her scalp.
"Do you need a bag for all that?"
I'm lucky for a rare lull in counter traffic as my mind drifts to the cold air coming from a vent I can't see. When I come to, I'm asking if the Italian Ice I'm holding comes with a flat wooden spoon.
 They don't.
The El Camino pulls up to the curb in fits and starts, the weather pours through the open windows in the bassy tones of the radio DJ. The back of my neck perspires more as waves of heat radiate from the Camino 20 feet off the curb, well away from any yellow parking guides. From my spot on the cement around the store, I can hear the Camino door squeal open heavily and slam as platform heels concuss and rebound from the curb to the overhang casting the meager shade I'm huddling in. The sound changes as the person steps up from the blacktop onto the curb and then disappears with the chime of a bell on the door.

 Chipping away the melting Italian Ice, thumb on the scoop of the spoon and the handle in my fist, I hear the heels exit the convenience store and enter the Camino. The Camino doesn't pullout. The DJ continues to talk. I finish my cold repast, rising from crossed legs and squint at the bike leaning against the brick wall of the convenience store.
"The sooner you get going, the sooner you'll finish"

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