Maybe Clyde wasn’t all that bad after all. I shift to my side and quickly scoot closer towards the passenger door, which for the moment makes his hand drop from me. We’re still a ways from the city, but at least I can see the direction it’s in. I want out.
“You can let me out here, please.”
He whines, “Aw, come on little darlin’, I’m not leaving you all by your lonesome! We’re in the middle of nowhere here!”
“I can find my way, please let me out.” I state again, more firmly.
He jerks to the side of the road and stops so suddenly I’m almost thrown up against him as he only just misses going in the side ditch. Before I can make sense of it, he lunges at me. I try to respond quickly by opening the door, but I’ve forgotten my seat belt is still on and I’m restrained to his sweaty, palming hands trying to pull me closer to him. I scream and in an instant where I’m about to lose all control of my senses, I punch him. Hard. In the face. I can see I’ve apparently done something because he stops and looks dazed for a moment, but that moment is all I need to quickly unbuckle myself and fall from the car. I take off like a horse, running running, gone. When I finally collapse to take a breather, I look back and see that he’s not following and I’ve escaped yet another ordeal. The light of the day is fading even more, but that only makes the city more visible as the buildings come to life. Panting, I check myself and besides the now dull pain in my hand, and the–wait is that blood?– on my shirt, I’m fine. I guess I really decked him good, I laugh to myself. I know I must look a rotten mess, so I figure I’d at least try to make myself look presentable for when I arrive in the city. I rub the sweat off my face with my shirt, dust off my pants and run my fingers through my hair. I feel something hard hit my finger, and fish it out of my hair. Ew. It’s a tooth… his tooth. A gold tooth. I immediately drop it to the ground out of disgust, and am about to continue my hike when I make a snap decision and pick the tooth back up. I’ll think of it as a present and cash it in at one of those money for gold bruh-has. As I don’t dare take another chance hitchhiking, I walk on.
In what seems like an hour later, I’ve finally made my way to the city. Ah civilization. I’m hot, I’m hungry and I think I feel the twinge that signifies I better make it to a restroom soon. I meander my way down a sidewalk and stumble upon a city bus stop with a group of people waiting by. I say a prayer, hoping that public transportation would be safer than my last ordeal, walk up to them and ask if the bus-line travel near any stores. I’m relieved to learn that it does in fact stop in a shopping district, and I wait with them. Fifteen minutes, the rest of my petty cash and a ride later, I find my way to a Walmart. Civilization indeed. Since I have no cash left, I decide I need to restock on it before I go anywhere else. Past experiences have told me that not everyone and everything in the world accept credit cards. Inside the store I spot an ATM and I rush towards it, immediately whipping my wallet out of my back pants pocket. I fish out my emergency card, insert it in the machine and draw a blank when it asks for my pin number. Crap.
Three attempts later, I’m locked out of my account and the machine eats my card. Et tú, ATM? A line has formed behind me, and with my building frustration and bladder, I take the last of the receipts from the machine and walk away a beaten woman. Ten paces later and I make it to in the store’s restroom and after doing a little jig, I get my pants unzipped and squat over the questionably discolored toilet bowl. Afterwards, I flush and begin my usual routine of jumping up and down to get my jeans up and zipped, except… PING!
The zipper-pull pops off, out of my fingers, hits the side of the stall and then lands on the gritty porcelain floor. I give an exasperated sigh, not caring who in the bathroom can hear me, nor what they think I’m doing. I give up on my pants, cover my waistline with my shirt, pick up the little metal traitor and finish my bathroom routines. I’ve never felt so defeated in my life. I leave Walmart and just stand outside the entrance not sure what to do next. With the dying day, the store’s parking lot lights come on, and that’s when I see it. OH GLORY BE! MY CAR! I’d recognize that dented bumper and neglected crack in the windshield anywhere!
I approach the car both excitedly and cautiously, in case Clyde’s still there. Nope! Strange thing though, although it’s obviously been ransacked, my keys are still in the ignition and the doors are unlocked, haha! I dive into my car and turn the key. It sputters, revs up a little, then dies. One look at my dashboard tells me why it’s left here all by it’s lonesome and keyed up. No gas. Well so much for that. I know I’m not as disappointed as I should be, and in all reality with my day going the way it has, what did I expect? I’m tired, but at least I have my car. I decide to wait the day out, and I lock my doors, adjust my seat back and slowly but surely, I fall asleep.
Tap. ta-ta-ta-tap. TAP TAP!
I’m jolted awake and swivel my head to the side window. A uniformed police officer is at it, peering at me. I look around the car and see that, except for me, the parking lot is abandoned. Letting the window down, I yawn and thankfully greet the policeman. He gives me a stern look, reaches inside the car to unlock the door, opens it and tells me to “please get out of the vehicle.” and I absentmindedly comply. He promptly turns me around against my car and handcuffs me, and tells me that this car has been reported as stolen and involved in a robbery and I am therefore arrested. I don’t have the energy to think on anything that’s going on, and I just chuck it up to another item scratched off the list of my day. In retrospect, the cows didn’t smell all that bad.