Continued from yesterday…
Barstow and I parted company one night when I nearly got caught heisting a few tasty tidbits from an all-night grocery store. I had wandered in behind another late night customer and made my way to the rear. The morning staff was long gone, so I could graze through the crates of day-old bread, or week-old whatever, and dine in style.
I was wiping the last of a moldy meatloaf from my face when I heard running. I turned in time to see a broom aimed at my head. I ducked and ran. The guy in the white apron took another swing, but I was racing down the cookie isle before he could get past the sinks. I spotted a man making for the doors and sailed through after him. I was in the shadows, catching my breath, by the time “apron boy” made it outside.
It was time to move on.
I strolled over to my favorite diner at the crack of dawn and spotted an eighteen-wheeler loaded with wooden pallets idling in the parking lot. I ambled aboard right before it rumbled onto the street and headed south. The sun was getting hot. Before I turned into beef jerky, I wedged myself down between two piles of splintery wood and fell asleep.
After a while, the steady hum of the road turned into the roar of the city. I opened my eyes. The flat and endless desert had morphed into a mountainous terrain of concrete and steel.
So, this is L.A.
I hang around truckers because those guys know where to eat. “Pallet man” pulled into a local eatery and I decided this was the end of the line. I emerged from my hiding place and dropped lightly to the pavement.
A guy wearing a funny pair of rubber shorts and a cockroach-shaped hat careened through the parking lot on a bicycle and nearly ran me over. As I jumped out of the way, I had to dodge a kid on an oversize roller skate as he raced past me. Sheesh!
One thought on “Ladies Man – A Short Story in Four Parts – Part Two”
This great! You've really captured that world-weary voice, snappy and vivid. I can hardly wait to read what happens next. Thanks for sharing this story.