All day I’m thinking of Jerry Jones and his twelve-inch soup ladle. Some days I can’t keep my finger off the dial, thinking about that man. It doesn’t help that the whole toll-booth plaza is constantly vibrating. Two-hundred idling engines sending seismic waves up the legs of my stool. Every car going into Camden stops to sex me.
The first time he poured me that cream of mushroom, I thought I’d lose my mind. It splattered everywhere. All over both of us. He didn’t even try to apologize. He knows I want it. Afterwards he’s like, “You want brown bread or crackers?”
Oh excuse me? Boy, you know.
I said Look at this mess. Look what you did.
He just smiled, looking like he’d slap my ass if I kept giving him lip. Like, yeah. Like. I think I might… mmm. Unh. Oh. Oh. Unhff. Fuh . . . fuhh. Unnnhuh.
Mmm Mmm. Here’s your change, have a nice day, baby.
Hello, five dollars, sweetie. Thank you. Have a nice day.
Mama asked why I bring home Hale & Hearty every night. I told her soup is good for her. After dinner I always lock myself in my room and play my body like it’s a saxophone until I’m bowlegged and pigeon-toed. My ass heaves. The sheets cling to me. I grunt and pant. What else can I do? Jerry isn’t going to ask me out.
Except I can’t go on like this. Drivers are noticing. A woman in a Subaru asks if I have been enslaved by lust.
Excuse me? I say.
Are you under the influence of fantastic power? she asks.
She stares into my face and whammies me. I grow unconcerned with the mounting line of cars behind her. A blurry curtain descends around us as she lays tarot cards on the dashboard, her pet coyote riding shotgun. Satan rides bitch.
This man is placing the spell on you, she says. Making you without the rudder. Like the blimp floating through the faithless land. Visions and illusions await. Hidden enemies surround.
An image flashes before me. It is a brain stem. The nerves pulse with tendrils, straining and wet. I thrust a hand into my pants and rapidly slide a finger back and forth through my slit.
The gypsy looks on with lusty approval. The coyote, teeming with lice, sniffs in the direction of my crotch. She hands me a little purple pouch and indicates I should eat from it. The rank odor of death wafts over me. Inside, a very sticky duckling decomposes and green flames surround the toll booth as I push it down my throat. Satan says Ye shall not surely die, for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
The toll light turns green, and the gypsy cranks up the Santana and peels out.
And now I do know. I know that the next time he offers me a sample of that clam chowder I will stave in his black fucking heart. Jerry Jones will bleed and die. As will we all, my loves. The kingdom comes for you.