Stuff I wrote in Texas

He drinks his tea black. No lemon. No milk.

“No milk?” I ask and he tells me they don’t get real milk here. It’s only the powdered stuff. I remember seeing powdered milk at breakfast too. Texas lets me down, yet again.

Here I am, in this big room. And I’m just thinking. Thinking, thinking, thinking.

Thinking about America, with it’s rules and regulations and McDonald’s restaurants. Thinking about a kind blogging friend who has spent all evening emailing me with kind words. Thinking about the kind taxi driver who called me ‘nice’ and gave me his phone number and invited me to dinner at his manager’s restaurant where they serve potatoes and cabbage and chicken. He likes bacon with cabbage, he said.

The restaurant is called ‘Florida’s’.

We stopped at a garage so I could get cash out to pay him. He bought me a bottle of water and drove me around the town to cheer me up and hugged me when he dropped me at the hotel.

Carl, his name is. I didn’t call him. I didn’t go to Florida’s. I didn’t feel like eating.

I told Vaughn about about a book by Paulo Coelho. The book is called Veronika Decides To Die. Was it inappropriate to talk about it?

My auntie is going to collect me in Houston tomorrow. After I leave Livingston.

I don’t want to leave Livingston.

I do want to leave Livingston.

I guess I’ll have a big breakfast again tomorrow. Today, I didn’t eat after my breakfast. Just water and lukewarm decaf coffee from a flask.

He still thinks about women. About being with them. I ask him when he started thinking differently about it, given that some people might go stir crazy. He says other things keep him going. Letters.

He looks at me.

Letters.

I think about what to write to him. This man. This lovely man who laughs at my quaint English insults and complains about his stubble.

I don’t care about the stubble.

I care about his gentle manner and his calm voice. I care about his kind words and his capacity to comfort me in my tears. Comfort me? In my tears?

He says he’s not worried.

I wish I didn’t have to leave.

I don’t know what to say, how to end the conversation. I shrug my shoulders and feel helpless.

I loiter afterwards but am told I have to leave. I look back and wave but he’s behind a mesh screen and my eyes are too bad to make out anything except his vague shape.

I’m tired now.
……………………

More polystyrene cups. More powdered milk. Another day in Texas. I read. I eat breakfast. I think.

Maybe I’ll make a cup of tea. Black. No lemon. No milk.

(For other things I wrote in Texas, click here.)

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Profound post.

    Reply

  2. LLM this is some of your best writing ever. xoxox

    Reply

  3. […] Texas’ capital punishment system. 3. Went to France (for lunch), Italy (for my birthday) and America. 4. Visited the NASA space centre. 5. Became a ghost tour guide. 6. Made this (the website, not the […]

    Reply

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