The air inside the Cutlass was stale and warm, like a YMCA lockeroom. I could smell Gulf Coast salt as I drove past the Port Charlotte, Florida city limits sign. After sleeping most of the past hour, Olive stirred. I saw sweat on her arm through the pale shadows so I turned on the car’s weak air conditioning. We were a half hour away from our new path in life.
“Silas, I gotta pee and call Zola. Are there any quarters in the ashtray?”
Seeing a Phillips 66 sign between two street lights, I pulled through a mud puddle and cozied the car next to a gas tank. I reached inside my jeans and pulled out fifty cents. One of the coins stuck to my thumb because of dried blood.
“I’ll get gas while you call ahead, Olive. Try using the dirty quarter.”
I took a ten dollar bill from my wallet to get the car’s tank filled by half a tank and whatever she wanted. Olive leaned over and kissed me. She bit her lower lip and purred.
“Get me some peanuts to drop in my coke. I’ll see if Zola and her boyfriend have something we can sample when we get to Ft. Myers.”
I knew what that meant but ignored it and got out of the car to pump. A bank across the street showed two minutes before midnight. I wanted sleep. Deep down, I believed sunrise would make us things better and different.
I heard Olive giggling on the payphone. Her laughter was sexy, like Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot. It also lamplit trouble. I finished pumping gas then headed inside the small station. A man around fifty-years-old stood behind the register. His weather-beaten face peered over a comic book stand and chewing gum displays. Fleetwood Mac played over old speakers. I put Olive’s coke and peanuts on the counter. The cashier mumbled.
“So ya’ll on your honeymoon?”
I laughed and answered.
“No sir. We’re just passing through.”
Iw as going to get back into Soul To Body today but it’s the 36th anniversary of Rumours, the Fleetwood Mac album, released February 4, 1977. Gold Dust Woman is the “closer” on the record so I had to find a place for it and it fits this story, Light of Day because of the prompt – “path” by Trifecta Writing http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/
Here’s Gold Dust Woman: