Southern Comfort

A chubby brick church on the side of a forgotten state road in Tennessee had retired behind a chain-link fence with no gate. Its bricks were overrun with kudzu that had been trespassing out of the basement storm drain. The plain glass windows were stained with a chalky brown grease. In the yard, a plastic teeter caterpillar rose out of the ground from a rusted automobile spring. The church was recently occupied by a family of devote rodents but they found a better place a few years ago. This forgotten temple was empty every Sunday. Inside, the ghost of a pipe organ played its eulogy for her congregation. On the front steps, once home to a fruitful wedding bearing children, rested an worn empty bottle of Southern Comfort.

The little temple remembered that day. A white pinstriped Monte Carlo came rolling from the north. It pulled over abruptly right up front. The church was startled to see company on a Tuesday. It’s lonely modest steeple rose to attention. It couldn’t wait to give sanctuary. A giant passenger door squeaked and creaked open from the push of a woman’s bare leg with no shoe. A freckled mustard lady leaned out from her car seat and began to vomit in the church gravel. The little church listened as she exorcised her own confession. The driver fiddled with the air conditioning while his foot was on the brake. Before they drove off, she gurgled her mouth clean with the remaining whiskey from a bottle. She flung it as hard as her drunk arms would let her. It struck the door like Luther’s hammer and bounced to the ground without breaking. The car kicked up gravel. She fell into her seat somewhat disappointed with her donation.

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Categorized in: ... January 14, 2009 1:29 pm Tags:


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