< Fat Tony
Thinks he can just be done with me, does he? Like I was nothin’.
I turn the key in the ignition and floor it. The cab lurches, jerks, off to a rockin’, rollin’ start. I laugh, loose a war whoop fit to make my granny’s injun relations proud. I’m 1/16th Cherokee, see, and damn proud of it too. So I can’t be a bigot. The little fucker.
I don’t bother raising the loader as I swerve through his perfectly plowed rows and can’t resist a quick look over my shoulder at the snaking ‘s’ furrows I’m leaving in my wake. I do a crazy eight for good measure. Bang out a little war drum dance on the roof of the cab. Look Maw-Maw. No hands!
I reach into the bucket at my feet, snag me a cold one and rip the bottle top off in my teeth. Take a swig. Tastes like victory. Fuck. This was a damn great idea. This is the best I’ve felt in—I dunno. Forever. Since the last time I laid in that sumbitch’s arms.
Now, now. None a’ that. I take another swig to stop my lower lip trembling and dash the tear from my eye with my sleeve. He ain’t worth it.
Ha! I see him now, clear on the other side of the field. His tractor’s pointed away from me, dutifully diggin’ out another neat little row in the neat fucking little life he’s got all planned out for ‘imself. Thinks he can just plant me in there like a prize fucking tomato vine, for all the world to see.
I mean so what if I don’t want everybody to know? What we have, that’s just between us. It doesn’t make us, yanno, gay or some shit. No need to shout it from the fucking hilltops.
I take a deep breath, smell spilled beer, sadness and my own stink. Aw, hell. If there was ever a day to own my man funk, that day is today. And if he don’t like it, he can kiss my jesus h. christ grits.
I’m gunning the engine now, really opening it up. 17 MPH. 18. I’m pretty sure I can get ‘er up to 21, 22.
“Let’s see what you can do, little darlin’!” I give the control panel an affectionate slap, set myself on a direct path to the next row he’ll turn down. He can’t hear me. Drives with his pansyass iPod on full blast, like a damn fool.
He finally wheels the tractor around, sees me coming at ‘im. I’m still a good 100 yards away, but I’m closing fast. And this moment, the wide-eyed, jaw-dropped, record-scratch shock on his beautiful, stupid face is worth a hundred cold beers. A week’s paid vacation. All this country song broken-hearted bullshit.
So I savor every second of it. And push the pedal to the metal fit to kick the devil in the jaw.
published 3 April 2013