Tina Louise

Looking outside at the red Mustang up on concrete blocks. Rusting. Tires off. A crack in the windshield from his first wreck. That was years ago. Back when he was a teenager. Back when there was an adventurous spirit in him. Now he was just a fifty-something year old living day to day. Downing beers and watching television all night long. Waiting for the good Lord to come and take him away. That’s what he wanted.

He’d drive that car all around town when he was young. Bought it used with money saved from working at the Piggly Wiggly store. The kid would cruise up and down Main Street. Showing off. Looking for women in bars. Sometimes he’d get lucky. Most of the time it was a fool’s errand. A waste of time. You waste a lot of time when you’re young.

Now he stayed up all night watching Gilligan’s Island reruns. He had a big crush on Tina Louise. Had posters of her all ’round his trailer. Had a signed black and white of her from a convention in Dallas. Sometimes at night he’d look at the red head called Ginger and talk to her. Pretending that she was there with him. That the two of them were dancing to slow music. It was Tina Louise he wanted. Not Dawn Wells.

Come daybreak he would wake from his dreams. Still drunk from the night before. He’d call out, Tina. Tina, and then stop. Realizing that she wasn’t there. She never was. He laughed at himself for such foolish thoughts. Then pop open a morning Miller. And, sure enough he was dancing again with Ms. Louise. Holding her close to his heart. Even though she was never there, she never left him.

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