What follows is a fictional account. Any resemblance to places or people; living or dead is their own damn fault.
Rated R for Adult Language and Situations.
The Western Inn
7666 NW Route 66
William George arrived in Okay City, OK with his truck and his toolbox.
William George made his living as an itinerant aircraft mechanic. Rolling from town to town wherever the work lead him.
Once again the road lead to Okay City.
The license plates say, “Oklahoma is OK!”
That summed it up for William George. Oklahoma IS ok. It’s not bad and it’s not great. It’s just ok.
That Sunday afternoon in February when he escaped I35 he picked the first motel that looked reasonably safe and convenient.
His tool box, lashed to the bed of the pick-up was foremost in his mind. To lose it to theft would be an overwhelming loss. Not just the expense of replacing it but the work lost without it.
Without it, he couldn’t work to replace it.
The last place he stopped for gas was just south of Dallas. It had been breezy but still shirt sleeve weather.
Okay City was another world. The wind was hard out of the north and bitter.
William George hustled into the motel office and scored a room for the night.
He backed into a space in front of his room and hustled inside.
Once inside he immediately cranked up the heat and threw open curtain, to keep an eye on the tool box.
With the bed pillows stacked and a cold beer on the night stand he made a few phone calls and fell asleep with the TV on.
At six am. He lurched out of bed and looked out the window. “Still there.” the tool box was still closed and lashed in place.
The recruiter had told him to report at seven-thirty a.m. Having worked in the same facility previously he remembered the start time was seven.
With plenty of time but no coffee pot in the room William George threw out the half full beer and hurried to get ready and get a few cups from the lobby before he had to leave.
He pulled on a light jacket and stepped out the door.
20 degrees a stiff wind and the truck windows frosted solid.
Once again he hustled to the lobby.
No coffee ready.
He checked out and hustled to the truck.
The inside of the cab was a deep freeze.
William George put the key in the ignition and turned it.
‘rauhh rauhh rauh rau’
The cold had sucked the life out of the battery.
He hustled once again to the lobby to call a taxi for a jump start.
“I need a jump at the Overnight Motel.”
“Twenty dollars, up front, whether it starts or not.”
“I figured that. About how long?”
“30 to 45 minutes.”
“Great. I’ll be here.”
At least there was coffee brewing now. He took a Styrofoam cup and pulled the half full pot from the burner. Still brewing, the stream of hot coffee made a huge sizzling puddle on the burner, the counter and the floor.
He made a half hearted effort at cleaning up the mess and hustled back to the truck, ‘Maybe if I try one more time…’
Funds were tight and a twenty dollar “whether it starts or not” jump start was not in the budget.
A couple came down the stairs and began to get into the car in the next stall.
“Excuse me! Good morning. Do ya’ll have any jumper cables?”
“No, I’m sorry.”, the woman replied from over the roof.
“But, we’ve got a jumper box at home.”, the man added before getting into the passenger side.
“I could go get it…”
“She’s got to take me to work first…”
“But, I can be back in about twenty minutes.”
“Great. I’d really appreciate that. I just got to town and today is my first day of work.”
“Oh man, I’ll be back. We only live a few blocks from here.”
“I’ll be here. Thanks!”
William George hustled back to the lobby for another cup of coffee.
He stood there, peering out the plate glass window at the sunrise and the building traffic, “This does not bode well for my last trip to Okay City.”
For William George, EVERY trip to Okay City was to have been the last.
He’d grown up 90 miles from the spot where he stood.
1981 had been his first attempt to escape. Again in 1982.
Finally, he thought, he’d made his break and gone to Dallas. Once there he’d started a new life and career.
That career took him first to Selma, Alabama.
Dallas County Texas to Dallas County Alabama overnight.
Eleven years later that career brought him back for a year. At the first opportunity he was gone again for nearly four years.
He had returned to lick wounds and get back on track in 2000 and got stranded in the Okay City for several years.
Atlanta provided a year or so respite until he got angry and quit a job where he was caught up in “Political Crossfire” and budget crunching.
Another year and it was back to Texas. San Antonio, Texas.
San Antonio was the place where he’d long ago decided that if he had to live in the United States of America it would be in San Antonio in the By- God- Republic of Texas.
Back again to Okay City.
Every time it carried a lump of defeat.
‘I can’t do any better.’
‘I can’t make it anywhere else.’
“I’ll have to go back to the Okay City. Goddamn it!”
- ▼ April (7)