This Time

It was easy at first…,she said…,lovin’ you…’fore I found out what the real you was all ’bout…the drinkin’…stayin’ out all night…on the prowl…like an old tomcat lookin’ for a stray…walkin’ back alleys and side streets…in search of a girl in red…done up in colors of the night…,she took a drag off her Camel…drank a shot laid before her…the old man just sat there…couldn’t look into her green eyes…she spoke truth…

And I was willin’ to tell ya I loved you…was willin’ to give it one last try…,the curvy blonde said…she took a deep puff…blew out smoke just over his gray hair into the dim light that shone down on ’em…ceiling fans twirlin’ away…,how many times has it been…who all you been with…, the old man just shook his head…put the bill of his John Deere cap in his mouth…chewed on it a little bit ’til she knocked it out of his hand…he trembled…,how many huh…how many has there been…,she put her cigarette out and shoved him with both hands…arms fully extended…he looked down at the dirty floor…cigarette butts…finger nails…old matchbook covers with phone numbers on ’em…

Then the young woman looked at the old man and said…,I can’t do this anymore…lookin’ for you all over town…callin’ folks and askin’ ’em if they know where my man is…askin’ ’em if they know where my man is…I could hear ’em laughin’ in silence…they knew where you were the whole time…hell…everyone in town does…four o’clock in the mornin’ tellin’ me you been out fishin’…smellin’ like sex…smellin’ like a bunch of wild women you do…smellin’…just smellin’…

He motioned for the bartender to bring over the check…the skinny little redhead laid it down in front of him…pulled out two twenties and swept his hand over ’em…looked at his woman one last time then got off the barstool and walked out…not one word said…just walked out…work boots dragin’ a little bit…she stuck her chest out and asked for another drink…just one more for the road…

It’s been three months…she hasn’t heard from him…

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