Ill Manners and Hope

cropped-swamp-2[1]My mouth was terribly dry. I was waiting for family at El Cazador, the only true Mexican restaurant in town. I figured that, when my family got there, I could go inside and order an iced tea. In front of the Kroger was a soda machine.

They could be heard a mile away. The sound of thump, thump, thump wafted through the air like a thousand dirty diapers. It doesn’t make you a man because you can turn a dial, buddy. There were families walking around while these guys were blasting out profanities. When they parked, the driver turned the stereo even louder to illustrate a particular obscene portion, and then he turned it down. They got some sodas and drove off.

It would be just as well, I thought, to get a soda for myself. I put a dollar in the machine and got a grape soda. Apparently, the sodas only cost a quarter. I wasn’t even back to the bench before El Cazador when a young girl walked up and stopped me. She had three quarters and handed them to me. She said, “You forgot your change.”


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