A brief stream of consciousness regarding a 1963 Chevy Impala with one door open parked outside the Astrodome construction site

Roxanne earned that hobble on army maneuvers she lives in a trailer on the Big Ridge Ranch which is big and a ranch but has no ridge to speak of she works as a hand there and uses the same can opener for the shepherd’s Alpo as she does for her great northern beans it’s calving season you know she says to the sheriff so I don’t have a lot of time for this he fishes out a Coca-Cola bottle from the cooler underneath the table across which they’ve locked eyes I’ve been told you know about the Chevy he says then you’ve been talking to the wrong people he mashes out his cigarette in a half-empty bowl of low country boil thing is it’s more than an abandoned Impala it’s an abandoned Impala with the front passenger door left open know who leaves a door open someone in a tight spot or fresh out of one she’d once beaten a man to death with a frozen tomahawk ribeye buried him in a shallow grave she dug with the antlers of a jackalope — those are real you know — but it wasn’t this man if it’s even a man he’s asking her about I know all about the running-unopposed types she says you care more about clearing a case than solving it besides never even been over there she says what is that thing anyway a cheeseburger skeleton you telling me Jimmy Wynn’s gonna to go punch the clock in that thing anyway I drive a Ford she’d read in the paper that thing’s going to have four entries one at every compass point could be useful if you suddenly need to make it to the bolthole while ol’ Bob Lillis is shittin’ his way toward his fourth 4-3 groundout of the night except she doesn’t need a bolthole at least not for this what befell Battleship Gustafson this time three years ago is a different story albeit possibly with the same ending saw nothing remember even less is that right he says hang the innocent until you luck upon the guilty is that right she says right back he’s got ghostly skin like a ptarmigan in winter (real winter like up in Deaf Smith County in the Panhandle not like here) and he flushes when a conversation goes sidelong which is one of several reasons he’s a better sheriff than suspect not that he’s all that good at the former I reckon you’re free to go Roxie he says agree to disagree on the free part sheriff but I am indeed going she grabbed the last bottle of Coca-Cola from the cooler and shambled toward the door she parked the Impala he thought had been impounded in the alley out back just to see how far she could push these matters a drifter’s eyeballing it you left your door open ma’am he says maybe that’s how i found it she says maybe it’s stuck or maybe I just like it that way she says yes ma’am he says she gives him the Coca-Cola she points the Chevrolet hood emblem which had always looked to her like a recurve bow toward Galveston Bay and jams the pedal like it’s a cockroach in the corner of a motel room the negatives are hung and drying the jewelry appraiser’s eyeglass sits next to the drip pans by moonrise they’ll know by sunrise a lot of hell without much heaven for who though is up to everyone but God who’s always been just another man asking too many questions of her.

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