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Edith saw him walk in to the roadhouse. The Wurlitzer blared what Wurlitzers usually blare as she sipped her scotch and adjusted her skirt.
He was alone. Then again, so was she, but this was her bar and she was out with friends so it was on the up and up. And plus, the only reason she was stag to begin with was she eighty-sixed Martin when she found out his bowling night was really a rum-and-coke night with some strumpet named Sally two towns away.
She noticed that he made a beeline for the phone booth. Edith wondered who he'ld be calling this late. That was shady enough. And what was with those clothes? This clyde couldn't wear a blazer?
He looked at his watch, approached the bar and got himself a hefty glass of Jack Daniels.
When he sat down at an empty table," Edith approached.
"Sure help yourself," he said. "The name is Sam..."
"Sam..." Edith repeated. "That's a good enough name."
He lit a Camel and Edith thought he was trying to be like Montgomery Clift. She stifled a laugh.
"Something wrong?" he asked her.
She didn't answer and motioned toward the phone booth, "What's with the phone call?"
Perplexed by the question, Sam said that he was checking in with some family. Edith figured that was the dumbest alibi she's ever heard. There was probably some wanted poster in some post office with this guy's mug on it.
"And what's with those threads, Sam? I mean Don'cha wanna meet a nice girl?"
"You're not a nice girl?" he asked, noticing now that her friends eyeballing them.
"Depends. You don't look like you go in for nice girls" Edith snapped.
"Say, are you writing a book?" he asked keeping his cool.
"As a matter of fact I am," she answered. "It called 'How to Spot a Stiff from a Mile Away."
"Girlie, you couldn't handle this stiff..."
"Oh, so you think I'm some sort of vulture, huh?" Edith said.
Sam took one last drag on that Camel, gave her a once over and exhaled. "No, Edith, I don't consider you a vulture," he said.
"I consider you something a vulture would eat..."
Walking three miles back to his broken down rig, Sam marveled at how things have changed and couldn't wait to be in bed next to his wife.
Art: "The Pick Up" by the amazing American artist Rafael DeSoto. His work can be seen here. Music: "Who Shot Sam" by Wanda Jackson. It can be downloaded here.