Archive for March, 2010


Days in Raimuth

by mdjb

They say old man Taylor died while eating the stroganoff at Bridge’s one day. Bridge remodeled the place shortly after that, but he lost a few of the regulars nevertheless. They followed Zeke Mason to Adler’s diner, down the road. Zeke had sat across from Josh Taylor just about every day for about thirteen years, so he knew all the stories. Guess that’s why most guys came down with him, to continue hearing the old tales. Zeke let it be known that Josh Taylor died owing him a good deal of money, and those other guys offered him moral support, but he said he’d be able to get along just fine with what he had left, and it was also said he was courting the widow Taylor, though nobody ever saw the two of them together out in public. Molly Taylor wouldn’t be caught dead eating out in a diner anyway. Women in this town just don’t do that sort of thing. We’re kind of old-fashioned here in Raimuth. Diners are where the old boys hang out together and socialize, and we ain’t got no clubhouses, not even for the gals, but they have their own ways of doing things and we leave them to it. They sew, and they tend to their gardens, drink sloe gin on their porches in summer, and have potluck suppers in winter. Sometimes I envy their easygoing ways, but of course I gotta be here with the guys. The food ain’t so good here at Adler’s, but at least ain’t nobody died from it, yet.


We Can Still Be Friends

by mdjb

-So it has come to this, Elaine said. To think we only began dating four months ago.
-All good things have to end, Turner said.
But this stopped being a good thing weeks ago. She was filing her nails and looked up from under hooded eyes.
-Do you want your key back now or can you wait until next week? In any case, you’ll have to wait. I left it in my desk drawer at the office.
-Why’s that? He looked at her hand. Short choppy nails. He couldn’t see the evidence of all her attentions. She smelled nice though. He thought it was lilacs. Real lilacs; not a chemical mix.
-When I was coming over, I would come straight from the gym after work. I just never brought the key home after that last time I went straight to work from your place.
-Why do you think we soured on each other, Turner asked, I mean in that way? Do you think we can still be friends?
-Sure, we can be friends. Hand me that little bottle will you?
How he hated the color she was applying to her nails. It made them look as if she had clawed him with them and the cuticles had filled with blood. He could feel heat and welts along his arms. He rubbed his right arm with his left hand.
A smile played on her lips. -Cold, she asked. -You can turn off the air conditioning. I just turn it on when it feels stuffy in here. Her apartment was crowded with furniture. Much more than a single woman needed. On the radio, Roger Miller sang, -Trailers for sale or rent. Rooms to let, fifty cents. No phone, no food , no pets…
-Do you mind if I smoke, Turner asked.
-I’d rather you didn’t, if you’re going to turn off the air conditioning, Elaine said.
-I’ll leave it on, he said, -I’m not cold anyway. He lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply then turned his head to one side so as not to exhale the smoke all over her. After that he turned to her to smile and to see if she had appreciated his gesture, but she was preoccupied with painting her pinkie nail.
-So it’s come to this, she said, and held out one finished hand.
He thought she was admiring how the light bounced off her red, red nails. They were very shiny.