bull rider

At dusk, when I came out of the chocolate shop, I thought I lost my car. I thought my car was stolen. Who would want an old car with anti-government stickers tacked to the window and sketch books filling the seat? The dark and mutated cartoons in my book might have taken the wheel and driven away. If they stole off with a quarter tank left, I think they’d go out like hundreds of elf sized Hunter S. Thompsons: snorting coke from an Altiods tin with one hand on the wheel and a vestigial limb making wrong turn signals out the window…headed for the Indian Casino
Once at the dive, two hundred yards away from the all night Bingo, they’d unload. Circus car-like, they’d pour out from the windows and exhaust pipe slithering, ambling and cycling to the humming neon entrance. When the smallest one reached the bar, breasts exposed and blood beneath her fingernails she would say “Scotch” and the bartender won’t bother to question her.
Ritualistically, she would throw back her drink and proceed to climb on the electric bull. She has no change in her pockets so the thing never moves, but she rocks herself forward and back. Whip lashing again and again, with one hand in the air she shrieks and yips until she’s thrown off by her own convulsions. Five drinks later and five rides later she lays silent on the surrounding foam. The others stop what they’re doing. Since the time they entered the bar, not too long ago, they had ignored the smallest one. They ignored her until now. They stop simultaneously, each stops its dancing, crooning, picking the paint chips off the wall. Serpentine necks arch around to see she’s wasted and immobile on the duck-tape patched foam.
Then, silently and suddenly, they left. Like penitents to the flagellation, all file out, carrying the smallest leader on their shoulders. The drive back is silent and the engine noise hums a self-satisfied tune. Catharsis is theirs; they re-park my car, and align themselves back on their pages, dreaming the deaths of a thousand bull-riders.

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