A Quart Low…

he looked at the dipstick…a quart low…he was always a quart low…seemed like the old truck was burnin’ oil…every time he stopped to fill the tank he’d check it…put washer fluid in her too…cleaned the windsheild…filled the tires with air…his dad taught him how to do all this…nowadays they got tires you can’t put air into…what a strange world it had become he thought…next thing cars’ll fly down the street…have wings that spread on ’em…look like some kind of spaceship…he shook his head as he took one more look at the dipstick…cleanin’ it with a cloth…yessir these were strange times indeed…

the pickup was pretty beat up…rust had started formin’ on the bottom of the bed..paint was chippin’ away on the doors…passanger side mirror had a crack in it…one night a jealous boyfriend took a swing at it with a baseball bat…drove off fast as he could…peeled out leavin’ a cloud of dust behind…could see outlines of their bodies in the rearview mirror…men in jeans and cowboy hats…a neon Budweiser sign blinked in the distance…he kept drivin’…

and he figured that man had a right to take a swing at his truck…guess technically they were still married when he messed ’round with her…the short blonde said they were seperated…not divorced yet…but it was just a matter of time…he remembered when he was goin’ through his divorce…used to say the same thing…we’re seperated…in his mind he was never really married anyway…he didn’t really love her…never really loved no-one…thought he had…but he never did…just ran from one woman to the next…one town to another…never slowed down…

at night he’d sleep in the back of the truck witha sleepin’ bag stretched out and an old pillow he’d had since his younger days…it was good and broken in…he’d look up at the night sky and wonder where he was gonna head to next…Nebraska…Oklahoma…head further out West to Montana or maybe Utah…could end up in Las Vegas…spendin’ what was left from the last job…just like towns and women he’d go through jobs like a shot gunned beer on a Saturday night…nothin’ stuck to this guy…nothin’..

so…he’d lay there and wonder what his next move would be and then fall into a dream like state there at the rest area under blue lights shinin’ down…dreamt of bein’ a movie star…like Steve McQueen or Lee Marvin…hangin’ out in Hollywood with other movie stars…parties every night…women approachin’ him for a change…for a change…dreamed of the good life only to wake up in the mornin’ early sun with diesels comin’ in off the ramps…

he looked at the dipstick…a quart low…he was always a quart low…

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