Keep Art Alive :: “With the Wind” :: Art by Kris Lewis
“There ain’t no rest for the wicked,
money don’t grow on trees.
I got bills to pay,
I got mouths to feed,
ain’t nothing in this world for free.”
Isabel, with the borrowed red hair, hopped a Greyhound to as far as her tips would take her. He used to call this way to travel “the dirty bitch“, and then, after a while, he took to calling her that, too. But she was long gone, new name, no particular location. She had spent six weeks in this nowhere town, balancing plates and stale breath requests for black coffee, and paint-by-number colored stale donuts from the finger-print decorated plexiglass case.
The cooks in the back took bets behind the back wall on whether the drapes matched the carpet, and which one of the them would find out first. The only one in that greasy spoon to find out was that skinny little thing with the stringy strawberry blonde hair, natural, freckled everywhere, with the softest of hands. They would keep each other’s secrets, Bea and Isabel both. No preacher wants his daughter going down on a dye job outsider girl, now do they?
Isabel left before she couldn’t, before her heart got in the way. Bea had tears in her big baby blues, but never said “don’t go“, or “take me with you.” Isabel never looked back, not once, not for a second, not until three city lines were crossed.
Maybe she would have stayed.
Maybe she would have taken her along for the ride.
But this new city has colder streets and fewer “help wanted” signs. She is down to pocket dust and loose change, with one more night before a noon check-out call. Her roots are starting to show, and she needs much more than jukebox money to go on to the next rest stop, until her next ride on that “dirty bitch“.
“Maybe he was right about me“.