Friday, February 12, 2010

Quiet Time

He killed the engine, and sat listening to it ticking, waiting for the fine chalk dust to settle. Lacy'd been driving him up the wall lately with her incessant chatter and he just felt the need to get out here on the ridgeline, along the very edge of the escarpment, to have time to think.

He drained the remainder of lukewarm Coors, crumpled the can, and hooked it back behind the cab to land amidst the barbed wire remnants, a salt block, and another dozen cans from the past week's quiet times. The broken land stretched out toward the reddening sky -- not a building, or a power line, or a cell tower to be seen. Ain't good for cattle, he pondered, but damn sure good for nothing. The hot engine finally quit ticking like a pocket watch. He got out.

Stretching his lanky self, he leaned against an arthritic fence post, feeling its warmth through his shirtfront. Lacy'd given him that shirt on their third anniversary. Now he was wondering if they'd see a fourth. The wind picked up as the afternoon heat started to diminish. He watched the big red sun fall perceptively now toward the irregular black line of horizon.

Starting a conversation with God seemed an impossibly big task. Bigger than this country. Far bigger than that sinking orb. And why the hell would He want to listen to my piss ant story anyhow? I'm certain as hell he's got bigger fish to fry.

Returning to the truck, he sat another minute looking west before starting it up, then turned her back toward town, watching the stars come alive. He knew there was a God involved in all this, but didn't quite know how to strike up the conversation.

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