One more little taste for the weekend. The links for yesterday's taste and today's taste will be up tomorrow.
And, from yesterday ....
He watched as Sarah headed out for the line shack. She looks good in those jeans. I kinda like the way that canteen bounces on her hip. Nice hip. Nice lookin' woman all over. But you better forget that, Jake. Just forget it. It ain't gonna do you no good to go droolin' over no split. You can't do nuthin' anyway.
And now ...
"Damn, girl, what did he do to you?"
"It's okay, Ma. I did this to myself. Went for a hike across the desert and it was a little tougher than I thought it would be."
"A little tougher? Damn, girl, you look like you've been in a cat fight. And lost."
"Yeah, well, I fell a few times and tore a few things. Sorry about the jeans and the shirt, Ma."
"Oh don't worry about the clothes. I can mend those. What about you? Are you O.K.?"
"A few scratches and some bruises, I guess. Nothing to worry about, really, though I think I'm gonna be pretty sore in the morning."
"Did Jake have anything to do with this?"
"Yeah, he did. But that's between him and me. He's just doin' what I asked him to do."
"Okay. As long as you know what you're doin'. Go on to your room and get out of those clothes. You take a shower and I'll take care of those things - get 'em sewed up and stuff. You sure you don't need no sewin' on yerself? I can do it, ya know?"
"Oh, I'm sure you could, Ma. But I'm fine. They're just scratches. But I'll tell you what. There is one thing you can help me with, maybe. You got any ideas what I can do with that car? I need to be rid of it, I think. There are people that know that car - people I would rather not see right now, if you know what I mean."
"Sure, honey. You got anything in that car you need?"
"No. Not anymore."
"Good. You give me the keys and you go take your shower. When you get done, if I'm not around, just watch the front desk 'til I get back. If anybody comes in, just tell 'em the desk clerk will be back shortly. 'Kay?"
"Sure, Ma. But what ..."
But Ma was already out the door.
Sarah stood in the middle of the room, naked, and looked at herself in the full length mirror on the outside of the bathroom door. She turned profile. Flat tummy. Boobs aren't too bad, but they gave up perky after Jerry was born. No bad stretchmarks on her tummy or hips or butt. That bruise coming up on her hip is gonna be sore. The scratches on the outside of her thigh where that cactus got her won't be too bad once she gets some Mercurochrome on 'em. All in all, not too bad. But already she was starting to stiffen up. That was a hard trek across the desert. She didn't see any snakes or scorpions, but she kept catching furtive movement out of the corner of her eye and when she'd turn to look, whatever it had been would be gone. She had to be quicker. She knew that. She knew she would be.
She had made it to the line shack and back with a minute and a half to spare. The look on Jake's face made the whole thing worth it. She had had to run for the last half mile. She had run out of water and she was near exhaustion, but she was determined to make it under his time allotment. And she did. And he clearly didn't expect that. And that was good. She knew she needed to earn his respect as quickly as possible if all of this was going to work. She knew she needed to establish, in his mind, that she was capable and determined, even if in her own mind she had her own and serious doubts about her ability to absorb what was necessary in what needed to be a short amount of time. She had money, but not unlimited resources. And she had a son she needed to care for and Mom was getting a little forgetful now and again and she really didn't want to impose on Janet any longer or more than was necessary. She could not afford a leisurely pace. She could not afford to allow Jake to become dismissive or lazy in his training of her. Push. She had to push. And push she will.
She froze. Every muscle in her body tensed and she couldn't breathe.
"Sarah. It's Ma."
She let out her breathe, grabbed a towel and wrapped it around her and opened the door enough to make sure it was Ma and then let her in the room.
"What's the matter, girl? You're white as a ghost!!"
"You startled me, that's all."
"Look, I know I'm not supposed to ask no questions and if you don't want to tell me, that's fine, but it might just turn out to be helpful if I knew who it was you didn't want to see."
"I guess you're right ... you know a guy named Sully?"
"Big burly fucker with a busted nose?"
"Yeah, that's him."
"I'm the one that busted his nose!! I threw an ash tray at him and hit 'im in the puss. I told him if he came at me one more time for protection money I'd fill his ass with buckshot. He don't come here - nor do his people. But I'll tell you what. When Manuel, the handyman, comes tomorrow, I'll have him put a peephole in that door - and a heavy chain on the inside. I want you to feel safe here. Besides, we can't have you answerin' the door with that pasty white ass hanging out o' the back of that towel - cute as it is - no, that won't do, darlin', that won't do. At least, not until you know who's outside that door."
"Thanks, Ma. I'm sorry, I guess I kinda over-reacted."
"Don't worry 'bout it, Darlin'. Now gimme those ripped up jeans and that blouse so I can fix 'em up. Oh, and here. You find it parked out front."
She threw a set of keys on the bed.
"What is it?"
"Jose Mendoza used to be the mechanic across the road. He pumps gas now. He bought a surplus jeep a few years back he can't use no more. Seems he got himself a bad bottle of bootleg Tequila and went blind. I swapped him your car."
"I thought you said he was blind. How's he gonna use my car?"
"He won't. His sister, Maria, drives him where he needs to go. She hates that jeep. Your car is much more to her liking. She said so. Maria works here as the maid. And don't worry, the car will stay parked across the road so nobody will come here lookin' for you."
"Yeah, but still, if somebody recognizes the car, they may come snoopin' around."
"In two days, even your own mother wouldn't recognize that car. Have you seen the way the Mexicans around here decorate the shit they drive? Oh! Yeah, I almost forgot, Jose's cousin is gonna paint the jeep tonight. It looks a little gaudy right now."
"I don't know what to say, Ma."
"Don't say nuthin'. Just get your butt in the shower. When you get done, we can go over to the diner and get some supper. Donnie's got fried chicken on for special tonight. That shit's good. Ain't nobody does fried chicken like Donnie does. And he'll have homemade biscuits and corn on the cob and mashed 'taters. Damn woman. Hurry up!!"
"Okay, Ma. Okay."