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The International Writers Magazine: An Adult Story

Jay Marvin
Pulling off the road, Frank backed his car up to the sidewalk, popped the trunk placed his sign just right, and spread his works along the hot chrome of the car’s bumper.

gas station

Aware of the heat he rotated the paintings so the wouldn’t get eaten up by the sun.He sat there counting and thinking about the future. He wondered what would happen to him when he was 70-if he would end up in an old folks home living on the government hand outs? He felt like after you get pass 50 and hit middle age your living on borrowed time. Hell, he’s read in the paper where some guys collapse and die of heart attacks at 40.

Frank got up to get another cola. He opened the trunk and slid out a cold one. Walking away from the car he noticed he had a flat left tire. He stood there staring at the wheel walking over and kicking it. “Damn thing,” Frank mumbled to the passing cars. He thought about calling a cab, loading up his art work and walking away from the damn thing. He'd wouldn’t do it. He’d never find another car cheap like this one. No art sales today. He’d have to get the damn tire fixed. After calling around, from one of the few phone booths he found, it took 4 hours to get someone out to fix the fucking tire. The man, who was sent to fix his wheel, was thin. He appeared to have the fingers looking like he was working for Rolex fixing or making watches. Instead, he had on greasy overhauls and a baseball cap it to was smeared with black and purple smeared on it, and guys name was Sheldon. “Must be one of the oldest cars I’ve worked on in quite a while. You live here in the Springs?”

      “Outside of Indio.”

      “That’s hell of a haul, you ask me. It’s a miracle you can get a car like this up here and back.”

      “Well, Sheldon she seems to do it.” Wishing this asshole would talk less and work harder, Frank walked away from the car, went into the station’s tiny office, and picked out post card for his mother. “Hey, pal you got something I can write with?”

      “Sure thing,” said the guy, who looked like he belonged on American idol. Frank thought of asking him then thought better of it. ‘The owner was going to kick you off the corner, then he had a change of heart and he felt sorry for you. You kind of took him back to the days when he was selling cars out if this bone yard in Indio I know it for fact he told me so'.

Frank took the pencil and stared out the gas station window. 'Dear mom life is fine, your boy Frank.' Then he took the pencil, gave it back to the station attendant. Man he hated to lie to his mother not because he really ever loved her. Yes, he crawled through life money wise, however he lived life on his own terms - there’s a lot to be said for it. Still it made Frank depressed to think about it. He would soon be 57, and he felt he was running out of time. It was times like these he wished he had someone he could share his feelings. When you stared down into the pit, his soul, you’d could yell his name and it would echo back at you. This was true with many people, and Frank knew it was true with him. Now, the never ending question for him was why it ate at Frank’s heat 24 hours a day. The tire was fixed. Sheldon took a third of his money. In this town Frank stood out in Palm Springs like he was plumber or a Gardner. He thought about buying a used lawnmower and doing yard work part time. Starting the car he slammed in a Sliver Jews compact disk. Once he saw them in concert he was the oldest guy there. Pretending he was searching for his son, he loved the lyrics, and was amazed at how old he was falling for these Low FI bands.

Franked backed out of the station’s bay and headed back to his corner, he wanted to make sure he hadn’t left any thing behind, getting out of the car he walked around and spied a broken glass bottle. Why didn’t he see this first? He was in the process of climbing into his car, when a young girl pulled up in an old VW bug (the air cooled type with sewing machine motor) She rolled down her window and yelled at Frank “Mr. do you sell art here? I wanna get something for my mother.”

      “I sell art, but don’t think your mom would like it.”

Pulling the VW around, Frank heard the engine wind up like a sewing machine.  She got out of the insect car, the kind most people called a Beetle,

      “Let me see what you got,” she said giggling.  She was tall and willowy with legs a man could wear for a week; But she was jailbait, untouched able had to be 16 or 17 at the most. He hair was curly, and blonde.  Frank saw an image of a faceless, bare chested man fucking her slow and hard. He tried to block the image out of his mind and carry on with business. “Most of what I do costs way more than you get in your weekly allowance. She stood and crossed one leg behind the other letting her arms dangle. After two minutes she said in her little girl voice, how about a trade?”

Shit, Frank thought to him self. Now what she got to trade? Her car? Deep down where the little voice lived in each and one of us, Frank thought he knew. It had been a solid year since he had been with a women, however this was no woman she was a kid, and if he got caught fucking with 16 year old he’d go to jail for sure.

      “What do you want to trade? Something like your car?”

      “Oh no. I don’t even have one of those what do you call it?”

      “You mean a pink slip, ' Frank wished this trade idea would go away.

      “Yeah that’s what I mean,”

      “All right what do you have to trade? I’m not going to stand here much longer,” Frank said in a soft voice not even trying to out shout the traffic a kind of weariness was descending over his heart and body.

      “Is it your car?” she said pointing it out.

      Yeah, its mine,” Frank voice had a raspy sound it too it.

      “ Show me the inside” she purred walking towards it.

Frank never thought he would do this in a million years. For the first time in over a year he missed her. He’d never like what she stood for, right now though, he missed her then warmth of her body, her smile and the smell of her hair. The Miss Teenage Vogue parked herself in the passenger's seat, and nimbly, with delicacy, slid his zipper down and went to work. Frank felt himself explode to the point his thighs hurt. She the pulled out a Kleenex and cleaned him and herself. They both got out of the car, Frank feeling unsteady on his feet, and walked to the trunk, handed her a painting, and got back in his car and started driving around. He felt empty inside, a kind of hollowness, so he drove and drove. Frank knew he wasn’t going to hit the same spot again- and knew he’d have to go to the gallery scene. He felt pushed to the corner of a boxing ring-held tied to a post with no way to break free.

©  Jay Marvin May 2010
  jaymarvin at

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