The Visiting Room

She just couldn’t bring herself to put out her thumb and actually hitch hike so week after week she walked most of that 30 miles. 30 miles out and 30 miles back. Dogs’d come running out to the ends of driveways but if she kept walking they’d just bark and leave her go her way. The few cars that did slow way down to look at her, those were the ones she sure would not be getting into.

Once she was out there at the prison farm she’d stand in line to be searched before being allowed into the visiting room. At first, he’d always be there, all eager to see her. He’d cut a hole in one pants’ pocket that she could play with him while they necked. It was the first penis she’d ever touched and she wondered what it looked like. She’d bring little bags of pot out for him. Later, when she finally got her nerve up and started hitchhiking, he’d keep her waiting sometimes. She’d wait, too. Of course she’d wait.

When the other girls were going out on dates and sneaking off to skip school with guys, Theresa Lee (or to her friends Teeter), knew no one was going to ask her out. It must be because she was too ugly although sometimes she’d stand there in the bathroom looking at herself in the mirror trying to see the ugly. Her solution was to get herself a pen pal out at the state minimum security prison farm and, on weekends, tell her Mom she was going out to draw. Teeter’s mother didn’t question that (at least not until the day came when she read Teeter’s journal but that’s getting ahead of things).

One of those Sundays, there she was waiting, and this guy over at another table kept watching her. Having those black, black eyes on her like that made her twitchy. But having him look away was worse.

Weston didn’t see the ugly. He saw something much more inviting.

Teeter had been pretty as a little kid but she was always skittish and anxious. She was the girl that didn’t have a slug of bourbon on her first day in kindergarten but she could have used one.

Weston had been watching her every week and this week made sure she saw him watching her. That stupid ass she was visiting, he had no sense whatsoever. He didn’t deserve to have that sweet little girl coming out weekend after weekend. Time to make his move. First, he got to be friends with the asshole, easy enough.

“Introduce me.” Weston slapped down his hand. “Gin.”

“Shit! Goddamn it. You sure you ain’t cheatin’, you crazy fukken Polack? Introduce you to what?”

“To your girlfriend.”

“Like hell I will!”

“Why not? You don’t want her. And besides, I just want to write to her. I don’t want her on my visitors’ list.”

“I’ll say you don’t. That wife of yours would cut your balls off!”

“Ex wife.”

“Whatever. What do you want to write to her about?”

“Stuff. Philosophy. Theology. How the first forms of written records were tax rolls.”

“You’re a crazy muthafukka, all right, Psycho.”

“This weekend.”

“No, goddammit. Get your own piece a pussy.”

“You best not keep her waiting again this weekend then.”

And Weston was pleased to see the jerk’s face twitch. Give him something to think about.

Photo by Emiliano Bar on Unsplash


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