Mrs. Martin

Hey. Listen to what just happened to us. (Pause) Huh? No, I’m on my cell ... (Pause) Yeah, I got the service back today. (Pause) I know, it’s great. (Pause) Hahaha. Yeah, so anyway, just listen to this ...

It be a bright, sunny day today, right? A real perty day. Perty and warm as any we done have yet this year, thank Jesus. Like finally, don’t cha know? ‘Bout time. Well, me, my old lady Cara at the wheel, brothers Ray and Chuck in the back seat, we be ridin’ in our awesome BMW, windas down and everythin.’ We was goin’ back to home after gettin’ our checks from the county. Yeah man, tunes a rockin.’ Whooee. Don’t everybody love our car, right?

The wait wasn’t none too long this week neither. No hasslin.’ Got plenty a dough between us to get some gas and buy a couple a fifths and an ounce or two. It be a sign of good things to come, a good sign for us. Just have to keep a close eye on Chuckie ... he be hittin’ that heroin too much lately, man. He don’t look too good in the back, drippin’ sweat and snot and all.

So we pull up to the red light there at Wal-Mart and I look to my right and I see this blonde babe in the car next to me is rollin’ down her winda, lookin’ right straight at me. The glare from the sun blinds me a tad, and I’m in the middle of takin’ a drag on my cig, but I can see she actually is speakin’ to me. She looks perty hot, like the bank fo sure, so I turn down the tunes, blow out and say, “What?”

She says, “Why would you litter?”

I say again, “What?,” thinkin’ who is this stranger accusing me of littering? I don’t even know her; she don’t know me neither.

She says, “Why would you litter?”

I got to admit that for a quick sec I see Mrs. Martin’s face staring at me. You remember, our second grade teacher? She always said my name so nicely. She sure made so as I had breakfast every morning before homeroom, even brushed my teeth for me and gave me a jacket to wear. That was back before ma went to Heaven. Them was rough times at home, don’t cha know. I remember telling Dad that my teacher put up on the board that we should throw our garbage away at the dump, not up in the woods behind the neighbor’s. I remember he jest looked at me and laughed.

So before I can help it, the words, “I didn’t litter,” spill outta my mouth. But just as soon as I say it, I’m mad at myself for saying somethin’ at all, you know, like, “Why do I owe this hag an answer?” And just as I was puttin’ my hand on the handle, wantin’ to hop outta this here BMW and strangle her, she points a wrinkly, ole finger at Cara and goes, “She did.” And Cara starts a blabbering: “Oh. Did that empty pack of cigs land on the road back there? Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to …” You know, using her baby-like, suck up voice. God I hate when she blats like that, you know what I mean? And that’s all I can take when I swing right straight back around and tell the woman to go to Hell.

Who does she think she is, owner of the road? It’s none of her damned business what I do or don’t do. She’s one of them stuck up ladies with their extra white teeth and dyed hair who think they run the town. A capitalist pig even though her car was only a Subaru. Ha, I’ll bet she inherited all a her money and don’t have no idea what it’s like to be poor and on the go’ment. Probably one of them one percenters whose dumb enough to actually pay taxes.

I litter all the time and ain’t nobody going to stop me, not with the rate the county charges at the dump. I throws everything out along the roadway now, if’n I can’t burn it, but sometimes I does that anyway, rubber tires and all. Every day I pick up my lunch at McDonald’s and every day I litter it on the back road. I don’t want that bag and trash in my car, you know. The county will pick it up anyway, and nobody lives along the stretch where I’m usually polishing off the last bite and shoving it all outta the winda. Don’t you do the same thing? Hell, let the bugs eat it, let the road boys take care of it. They get paid ‘nough.

Well, I gotta git going. C’ya. Poor Chuck keeps rollin’ down the winda to spit. I hope it’s not getting on the car. If’n it is, I’m going to kick his ever living butt.

You hear that Chuck?


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