stop for an ice cold coca cola

Greg Simon stood by the side of a 1973 Beetle. The car’s faded blue exterior blended with his rumpled jean shirt. His khaki pants were pressed. Inside the car was a pack of Marlboro cigarettes, red; a faded map, blue; a set of keys, in the ignition; and a white t-shirt in the back.

He tried the door handle, shrugged his shoulders and walked inside the gas station.

“Luck yet?” Mike asked.

“Still on it’s way.” Greg replied. “Say, can you give me a pack of Reds?”

Mike got the cigarettes, his shaking hands trying to keep steady.

“On consignment,” Greg smiled.

Mike hesitated a second then handed the cigarettes over. “How long do you think it’ll be before the truck comes?”

“Not sure. They weren’t too keen on me when I called.” Greg said. He took a cigarette from his pack and offered Mike one.

The auto-club had been less then keen; they were downright hostile when Greg couldn’t produce his membership number. After Greg sweet-talked them for a half hour they finally relented. Greg wasn’t sure if there was a truck on its way or if the rep had just seen the easy way out.

“I could take another stab at it,” Mike offered.

Greg remembered the slim-jim swinging wildly. The car would withstand another attempt, but he wouldn’t.

“Nah, gotta make the membership pay for itself somehow.” he replied.

“Suit ‘self.” Mike said.

Greg walked outside. In the distance he could make out a tow-truck. Just barely.