“You can go ahead,” a guy in one of those long trendy coats motions me up to the counter. I’m scanning the menu boards, and I don’t see anything that’s not coffee. I don’t drink coffee. There’s a sign for cheese soup, but I bet it’s thickened with flour and that will make me sick, too.
“Look,” I say to the guy, “I don’t drink coffee, and I can’t eat your cheese soup. I’m sitting out in the parking lot using your wifi and I just wanna buy something to avoid bad karma and mean cops.”
Not that I think corporations have anything to do with karma. But it seems like that kind of place.
“Um, hot chocolate?” Of course, hot chocolate. How can I forget hot chocolate? When he gives it to me I tip him two dollars and he says they close in an hour but I can hang in the parking lot as long as I want.
In the van Bro’s sleeping in the back, but I put my hot chocolate in the bungee cord anyways, just in case he wakes up. Just a while ago Hat-ma stuck her coffee in there and forgot about it, when the van was packed floor to ceiling with her pink suitcases and cowboy hats. She can put a cowboy hat on her boobs and spin really fast, so she was travelling with a half dozen cowboy hats in big bags when we pulled out of that crazy little christian town that we dance in sometimes. It was super crazy there this last time, and also super profitable. I’m either never going back again or going to go back every couple months.
The other day I had some fancy cheese in the van. It was a little chilly, so I stuck the groceries under the covers down by my feet to keep un-frozen while I slept. I do it all the time, but this time the cheese must have slipped out while I was asleep. Bro thought the cheese was very special, so he decided to bury it for me. Just in case any cheese thieves should wander through the van in the night, you know. First he made an empty spot on the floor for the cheese, and then he covered it with the bath mats that are the flooring and everything else he could find. One of those things was some bleach water in a 409 bottle that I snuck out of an apartment buildings laundry area one night over a year ago when Bro had diahrrea in the van while I was stealth parked in their lot. I guess it’s not very satisfying to bury something in a bottle, so Bro smashed the bottle up and buried that cheese in bleach. I woke up to this yeasty cheese smell. It sounds gross, but I actually found it really cute and precocious of him.
Possum says Bro’s the coolest van dwelling dog ever, but he probably says that to all the van dwelling dog moms. Today I used the circulatory massage technique thingy Possum showed me for my feet on someone else and now her feet are warm too. She brought me pesto and we ate soup and rolled half naked in crusty snow together. Last week I was rolling around in Possums bed, which is really cool and big enough to hang out in (hey! get your mind outta the gutter, i’m just a chronic cuddler) and the week before I was rolling around naked in another bed which resulted in this nifty laptop.
Anyways, the bath mats still smell a little cheesy. I was going to wash them, but when I finally did laundry at this truckstop the other day I had to wait so long for the washer I got that I didn’t want to wait for another one. While I was waiting for the washer the developmentally disabled man who’s job it was to clean the showers sang nursery rhymes and talked dramatically to himself, peeking to see if I listened. He ate peanuts for breakfast, had cleaned forty something showers that day, and liked wolves. When I finally got my stuff in the washer and got in a shower he tried to follow me in the door, but I slammed it in his face and ignored the knocking and declarations of loneliness. No cosmic titty here.
Later, when I was folding laundry a big woman wearing a bright pink spandex tank top, a ripped up sweat shirt, ugly sweat pants covered by leg warmers, which were covered by plain white socks, got a shower too. She walked in and walked right back out with an OhHellNo! She went and got the fuel desk girl, who was young and timid with big eyes. The fuel desk girl unlocked another shower for her, but that one smelled like piss too. Leg Warmer Lady was flipping out. “Oh hell motherfuckin no. Why all your showers smell like piss? I work fuckin hard all day, I don’t deserve no shower smell like motherfuckin piss!”
The fuel desk girl summoned the shower cleaning man. He sprayed air freshener at the shower, which started a whole new round of hellmotherfuckinno’s from the Leg Warmer Lady. This prompted him to explain to her how many showers, exactly, he had cleaned that day and that he loved wolves, her hellmotherfuckinno’ing the whole time. I don’t think either of them heard a word the other said.
After a while she turned towards where I was folding my laundry, my hair still wet, and she said, “excuse me, ma’am, did your shower smell like piss?”
“Nope. Hey, have you used one of those new RoadPro ovens?”
“You mean they got a twelve volt oven now? You a truck driver?”
“No, I just dwell vehicularly. But I was wondering how hot those ovens get, if they’re worth it. I mean, I think you could bake a casserole.”
“Yeah, I think I know what you talking bout. They sell a lot of them, they must be good. Goddamnit tho, I just want a motherfuckin shower that doesn’t smell like piss. I work hard all day, I don’t deserve this shit, yanno?”
So the bath mats didn’t get washed, and I started thinking they only cost me a buck fifty at a thrift store. For the $3.50 I’d spend washing them I could get some new super duper flooring from a thrift store somewhere. Except that I haven’t been to a thrift store. I’m wildly entertained by the yeasty cheese smelling bath mats in my van.