Tucker Cummings

Archive for June, 2011|Monthly archive page

Chapter 171: Three Months Gone

In Uncategorized on June 20, 2011 at 2:08 am

That night, after celebrating three months together in the usual way that couples do, we are sprawled across the bed horizontally, our feet wiggling in the air over the side.

“I’m happy,” he says to me.

“Me too.”

“No. Really happy. I’ve never…You’re the first woman I’ve ever felt at ease with,” he says, eyes aglow.

I smile.

He adds: “And you?”

“You know how I feel,” I whisper.

“It’s just…I rely on you. I hope you’ll be around for a while. But I know you were running from something, something that happened to you. I hope you’re done running.”

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Chapter 170: Minute Things

In Uncategorized on June 19, 2011 at 1:42 am

“We need to order another case of Red Bull,” I tell Johnny one evening after we’ve closed up for the night. He’s polishing the bar while I do inventory, Johnny Cash playing softly on the radio.

“Speaking of cases…I left you a present back there,” he says. “Look on the top shelf of the cooler.”

Lo and behold: my man is so sweet sometimes.

“McIlhenny’s!” I cheer, and run back over to give him a kiss over the bar.

“I know how much you like it, and how hard it is to find around here. Happy Anniversary, MJ.”

“Happy Anniversary.”

Chapter 169: Flash

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2011 at 1:59 am

Let’s flash forward three months or so.

Lucky for me, The Bull’s Head Saloon (and Johnny) needed someone to help with the bookeeping. I get to make a little extra money mixing drinks on game nights when we’re really busy, or waiting tables when our regular girl needs a night off.

I moved right in with Johnny. I really like him. He never asks questions. Well, I mean, he’ll ask, “What would you like for dinner?” but he never asks prying questions.

He is the essence of easy-going.

M2 would tell me that I’m avoiding the world, hiding away.

So what?

Chapter 168: Wide Awake

In Uncategorized on June 17, 2011 at 5:22 am

I bolt upright, drenched in icy sweat. That woman’s song still echoes in my mind, but with every passing heartbeat, she recedes.

Johnny’s not here.

I catch my breath and get to my feet. This room is messy, very bachelor. Dirty laundry strewn about, a TV on the bureau, takeout boxes on the nightstand.

I hear the shower turn on down the hall. I stretch out my back and my arms, and pad softly down to the bathroom.

“Hey you,” I say as I crack open the door. “Room for one more?”

He pulls back the curtain.

“Hey, sleepy head.”

Chapter 167: A Second is the Span of a Heartbeat

In Uncategorized on June 16, 2011 at 1:16 am

This time, I dream of clocks. A room in a darkened store, the sound of traffic audible from the street outside.

There’s a vintage feel to it all, a vibe compounded by a 1940s radio in the corner. A woman’s voice, low and haunting, warbles over the wireless.

“It will not stir for Doctors-
This Pendulum of snow-
This Shopman importunes it-
While cool-concernless No-

Nods from the Gilded pointers-
Nods from the Seconds slim-
Decades of Arrogance between
The Dial life-
And Him-”

The music cuts out. I turn around. A figure in black knocks me upside the head.

Chapter 166: Inter Unum Somnium et Alterum

In Uncategorized on June 15, 2011 at 2:27 am

I sleep, I dream, I rise.

Johnny’s face is close to mine, eyes softly lidded but open, looking at my skin. The sun is filtering in through his heavy corduroy curtains, casting pale shadows across our faces. In the morning light, his face is warmer, kinder than I remembered from yesterday.

“Hi, MJ,” he says, with that lovely flat midwestern accent.

“Hey yourself, barkeep.”

“You need some more rest?” he asks.

“I have another idea.”

Who needs sleep when all this bounty is laid out before you?

After, we both close our eyes and return to our respective REM cycles.

Chapter 165: Ow OW ow…

In Uncategorized on June 14, 2011 at 1:50 am

I swear to God, I’ve never been this hung over in my life.

I think I’m having an out of body experience just to get away from the ache in my skull.

Johnny is still fast asleep. He snores like…like a thing that snores loud?

Shut up.

So much for regrouping. I think I have to regroup the contents of my stomach before I can even start trying to track down the scattered clues that have been laid out for me.

Okay. Water. Water, and then thinking.

Or maybe I should just sleep a few minutes more?

Yeah, just 15 more minutes.

Chapter 164: Too Much Liquor, Not Enough Johnny

In Uncategorized on June 13, 2011 at 2:41 am

Oh, Johnny. Just one more pizzle?

Thank you darlin’. Make it a big one, won’tcha?

You know, it’s funny. We hear all these stories growin’ up, all about destiny. And we’re taught that it’s a great ‘n glorious thing. But not always. Because it doesn’t matter what we do. None of our choices matter, we are none of us in control of our own destinies and destinations.

Nothing matters. You make a choice, and the whole universe works against you to make exactly the opposite thing come to pass.

So the hell with it. Why should I bother trying?

C’mere, you.

Chapter 163: The Pizzle Fizz

In Uncategorized on June 12, 2011 at 1:16 am

Lemme tell you ’bout The Bull’s Head Saloon.

Way back in the day, Wild Bill Hickok was Marshall ’round here, and the owner of the Bull’s Head got it into his head to paint a big ol’ bull on outside wall. But he’d been drinkin’, and decided to make it “anatomically appropriate.” Wild Bill didn’t take to kindly to that.

So to honor that dubious moment in Wild West history, Johnny made the pizzle fizz: Red Bull, egg white, London dry gin, and orange flower water over ice. They are SO good.

Johnny! Get me another pizzle! And a shot!

Chapter 162: The Bull’s Head Saloon

In Uncategorized on June 11, 2011 at 1:20 am

As I make my way towards the local watering hole, it becomes apparent that I’m in Abilene. Not perhaps, an Abilene like you would recognize, should you travel to the Kansas in your own United States, but an Abilene nonetheless.

The Bull’s Head Saloon sits at the settlement center. It hasn’t rained in weeks; there’s dust in the air and cracks in the soil. I swing open the door and slide onto a barstool. There’s not much behind the bar: tall can of cheap beer, rye, a short list of house specials.

I order a pizzle fizz. And a shot.