The Journey Begins

Your stomach rumbles, it’s been a while since you left the house and you didn’t pack a cooler because it’s in the 90’s and your A/C is broke and fuck driving around with a box of hot water in your backseat. You hit the next exit and pull into the gravel parking lot. The bell chimes listlessly as you open the door. Everything is covered in a fine layer of dust and you’ll probably die from eating that jerky, but it’s $3 a pound and you’re at least 4 hours from the nearest Hardee’s. You search the cooler for a drink. Among the dusty glass bottles of Coke and Peach Fanta you find the original run of Crystal Pepsi.

You opt for a can of Dr. Pepper that is most certainly from 1988.

As you walk to the counter you notice the coffee pot is half full, yet the coffee has a film on it. You scan the magazines on the rack, unsure of who anyone on the cover is. The magazines seem to be the only new thing in the building. A second glance tells you they are all gossip magazines from Fiji. The clerk eyes you with indifference, His cigarette dangles idly in his mouth, the ashes beg to be flicked, but he won’t. He never does. The music tinkles faintly over the stereo speaker stapled to the wall. You’d swear it was a Tammy Wynette song, but sung in an empty pool entirely through the medium of sobs.

It feels like you’ve been in the store for hours, days, years. The clock, it’s glass frosted with a miasma of dirt and neglect does not yield the time.
You get back in the car and look at the clock on the radio, you were in there for 3 minutes. You open the Dr. Pepper to find it’s surprisingly still fresh tasting. Your favorite Golden Earring song comes on the radio as you continue your drive to see the largest rubber band ball in America.


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