Second Coming

He was like a ghost. Pitch black outside, but you could see his image. Tall and white. With slicked back black hair. The way Elvis used to comb his when he got older. When he got fat.

There was a pickup truck out in the parking lot. Music came from it. Marty Robins singing about El Paso. Falling in love with a Mexican girl. He sat there inside humming along. His head tilted back on the leather headrest. Lights on the truck came on. A cigarette burned and another song played on the radio. This one was an old George Jones tune about when he stopped loving her. He let that one sink in.

And, in the back there was a rusted chain. Said he used to keep his dog on it when he lived in Whiting. Had it tied ’round an oak. There were chips of bark in the grass from where the animal pulled on it; barking into all hours of the night. Had to get rid of it. Told his kids he’d taken him to a big farm over in Dekalb. The kids didn’t believe him. They never believed anything the old man said. Just one lie after another as far as they were concerned. That was a long time ago.

The truck started up fine. He backed it out of the lot with his lights on high beam and windows rolled down. Singing to himself bout the second coming. That was the last we’d seen of him. Just driving off into the night. Singing bout sweet Jesus. He had gone to meet his maker.

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