Trash Can Savior

The results of my “write on a piece of trash” exercise…

{Here is some background.  Max is in love with a stripper.  The stripper’s name is Shannon.  Shannon’s stage name is Lexi.  Rodney is another “regular” at the strip club.  He has anger managment issues and the misconception that giving a stripper a lot of money means she owes him sexual favors.} 

“I can’t believe this!” Rodney screamed.  “You can’t fucking be serious!  Choosing him over ME?” He took a long swig from his Lonestar, then chunked the bottle into the side of the building.  The smell of beer filled the air.  “Not like you even have a choice, sweetheart.”  The way Rodney said “sweetheart” made it sound like the worst insult a man could call a woman.

“I believe the lady can choose whatever she likes,” Max said, plunking his hat back on his head, pushing it down hard, so it would stay on if he had to run.  Part of him wanted to punch this asshole dead in the teeth, but he knew it was smarter to evade a fight with a kid big enough to be a linebacker and young enough to be his grandson.  He was going to bank on the fact that he was still pretty spry for 63 and the fact that he, himself, was not inebriated, unlike this fool.

Shannon was pushing the panic button on the pager over and over, backing away from Rodney and fumbling in her purse for her phone.  She hadn’t meant to rope sweet, old Max into this.

“Hey, old man, I ain’t ashamed to put your face in the dirt.  Lexi’s my woman.  At least for tonight.  I AM gonna get what I paid for,” Rodney said, taking up a squared off stance with his chest puffed out and fists clenched near his hips.  “I bought her—means I get to take her home and fuck her all night if I fucking feel like it.”  He turned toward Shannon, now.  The same fisted stance, now with with a leering, slithery smile on his face.  “I am gonna ride you like a Mexican donkey.”

Shannon’s face registered loathing and fear.  Max saw her face turn into Patsy’s face.  Frightened, worried, and angry, all rolled into one terrible expression.  Max’s sense of self-preservation evaporated.  Normally, he wasn’t a man to haul off and hit a guy when he wasn’t looking, but in this moment, he absolutely was.  He took a step closer, reared back with his whole torso, his shoulder wound up like a spring, his fist like a club.  He landed the blow near the bastard’s right ear.  His wedding ring cut the kid’s cheekbone, which the kid reached to feel as he fell to the parking lot.  The look on Rodney’s face was a cross between “about to cry” and utter disbelief, working his tongue in and out of his mouth in a way that made Max want to throw up.

“Run!” Shannon screamed.  She had also been surprised by Max’s punch and how Rodney fell…like in slow motion…like a scene from a movie slow motion.  And instead of running back into the dressing room, she grabbed the old man’s hand and pulled him toward her car.

“I just live in those apartments, there,” Max breathed as they ran, pointing to the converted motel he called home. 

“You are coming with me,” she said, clicking open the doors of her Honda, and pushing him toward the passenger’s side.


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