"What's going on there, little shaver?
Lost you dog?
You look sad.
Want some ice cream?"

So, what I'm saying is that this was a pretty attractive young woman and she was crying on the side of the road. I knew I had to ask. She was wearing really hot looking shoes and I wanted to take them off. She would be more comfortable. I knew a place nearby where you could get ice cream and also pumpkin pie. One or the other was likely to cheer her up. Then I could get something.

"What's your name, little shaver?"

She wanted fudge ripple ice cream. I thought it was an odd choice for a lovely young little lady like her. My father used to eat fudge ripple. It was a man's ice cream. I had to figure out a way to punish my new friend for her poor selection. I had long ago appointed myself the vicar of female preservation. Today she was eating fudge ripple ice cream. Tomorrow she would be driving a Ford Taurus.

"Do you like your ice cream, little shaver?"

This girl was very pretty and looked real good in her peppermint striped pleated skirt and sweater. She was a real feast for the eyes, but she didn't have much to say and she was very mopey and self-obsessed. I was beginning to lose interest and thought about dropping her off at the bus station on the wrong side of the tracks. Then I thought again. The way she crossed her legs on her stool at the ice cream stand brought my attention back into focus. She licked her ice cream cone ever so slowly and flashed her sad eyes at me. It was as if she was trying to thank me without showing any joy whatsoever. She was a real drag.

"Want to go back to my place, little shaver?"

I wanted to take her back to my place and lick her face and other assorted parts of her body, but I knew it was not yet time. She would probably want to get another cry in after her ice cream. Seeing as she was one of those people who sobbed on and on and thinks life is terribly unfair, I knew this would take time. I would have to present some temporary and untrue reassurances in order to perk her up enough to get her out of her clothes. A plan formed as she let another tear fall from her eye. I reached out and grabbed it in mid-air. I cupped my hand and brought it to my mouth and kissed that which was her fallen tear.

"All better now, little shaver."

She seemed to appreciate what I had done for her and timidly asked if there was anything she could do to repay me for my kindnesses. I figured oral sex would be a bad thing to ask for, both from a politeness standpoint and also because she was so quiet and reserved. Instead I asked her if she would go to a very cheap motel room up by Bingway Lake and let me read poetry to her. I didn't have any poetry books, but I knew there were three drug stores along the way. They would offer the dreamy words of literature I needed for the perfect seduction.

She agreed to come with me to the lake. Once we were in the car she also agreed to take her shoes off for me. That was important because depressed people always spend a lot of time polishing their toenails and hers filled me with a borderline sensation of awe. I knew how to find the things I was after in life, but often after finding them I am left empty. You can't feel empty unless you know what it is like to be filled with something.

"I could eat those toes right up, little shaver."

She wanted to know why I kept calling her that, so I stopped. I lit a cigarette and offered her some gum. I liked the way she chewed it. The size of the bubbles she blew were impressive. I felt badly about not telling her about the stretch of time I spent in the can, but she was probably better off not knowing. I wasn't going to hurt her. I just needed her to make the world go away for a little while. The noise and the chaos of the city drives me insane. I can't condense it down to a consumable form. It chokes me and so sometimes I have to take a little break.

Her name was Lynette.
She was born in a trailer.
Her mother sold herself for drug money.
Her father was in prison for breaking a man's neck.
The church in their neighborhood burned down.
The minister retired and took his God with him.

I have a dog named Pecan. I built a shrine to my ex-wife inside the house we used to share. My wife named the dog Pecan, so don't think I'm some kind of limp-wristed Nancy boy who would name a dog "Pecan." My wife died after something horrible happened to her white blood cells. They told me she would be happier where she was going. I try to believe she went to Vegas, but I know I'm deluding myself. My wife was a saint amongst sinners, but right now I'm just trying to get myself a little something going with Lynette to kill the time that passes too slowly between birth and death. Somehow it seems that everyone needs a little help, or maybe someone to carry them over the finish line.

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