You Can't Always Get What You Want

by David James

I was tired and lonesome when I checked into another insufferable, shop-worn Holiday Inn. It was the only motel around with the internet — dial up only — in that little jerkwater town, Notmuch, Alabama. It was too late for a nap, so I jumped in the shower, thinking I would read. Drying off though, I decided to put on some jeans and go down to the bar for a drink. There were only two folks sitting at the bar — a guy who had on a Mobile Bears ball cap, wearing a wifebeater and, believe it or not, a Jesus Saves tattoo. Yes, a Jesus Saves tattoo and, on the far end of the bar was a woman, who, except for the brassy blond hair, mirrored in her stare, the way my ex-wife looked at me before we were married. I'm not really a loner, just not a joiner. I wanted a table and on my way to one, I stopped by and fed the jukebox its diet of quarters — more to drown out the repeat of Rush Limbaugh on the radio located somewhere behind the bar than to listen to my first selection, a George Strait song, “Amarillo by Morning”. Both the bar guy and the bartender were nodding, digging Rush's bullshit.

The woman came over and said, “Hey baby, I'm Rose, your waitress for the evening. "Not to be nosy sugar, but, if you are lonely and want some want some company later, you're sorta cute, I might be able to serve you then, too. haha”. I thought hey, she's no beauty, but she's all right — or should be after a coupla drinks. I thought I might as well get things started, so I ordered a boilermaker to accelerate her ‘later”. When she brought my drink she winked and whispered, “My wink's my question in code. It asks, ‘do you want me to go with you to your room'”? I thought, “ Hey, maybe this was my ‘Rose' in this thorny-assed, little town. Thank ya, Jesus. I guess he does save”

I finished another drink, walked over and said, “Hey, girl, grab your purse.” On the way down the hall to room, #112, she nuzzled me, whispering about making sure I wouldn't forget my visit to Notmuch, saying some shit about her new, essence of olive oil hair conditioner which her girlfriend said smelled like summer. I had an internal chuckle with that which I didn't share, “Bet it's not extra virgin.”

I forgot to check my "stupid" at the front desk, because as soon as I turned the key and ushered us in my room, a law officer barged in behind us and arrested me. Rose smiled and said, “Baby, you are so caught. Me and deputy, ‘Shorty' here round up ‘Johns' like you every night. The fine is $250 in this county for soliciting a whore like you thought I was. It's almost Christmas and we need the money for our ‘Gifts for Poor Kids' party. You can pay us here or at the jail. And  yes, the county judge is cool with this”.