book stuff 8

  • Debbie made her way through the fog to Smokey’s house hoping he would be awake, he was.

    She knocked on the door and he asked who it was, “It’s me,” she said.

    He came to the door and opened it, “It’s late Debbie, what’s up?”

    She pushed past him and went inside.  “How would you like to go to Tulsa for the weekend?”

    “You have the gas money,” he asked, “I’ll take you but I need gas money.”

    “No, no………it’s Rose.  She’s going to Tulsa over the weekend and asked me if I wanted to go……so, I asked her if I could bring a friend,” she grinned at him, “You ARE my friend, aren’t you?”

    “A weekend, in Tulsa.  With Rose.”  He rubbed his hands together, “Debbie, I owe you one.   I bet they have a really nice head shop there too.”

    “So it’s settled then,” she said, “and you have a reason to go other than an obvious reason to go.”

    Smokey leaned down and took her head into his hands and kissed her on the cheek, “When do I need to be ready?”

    “We are leaving sometime after noon, see you then.”  She picked up her satchel and then put it back down.  “I almost forgot, we need one for the road.”  She handed him the money but he waved it off.

    “Put it back for the head shop Deb, this one’s on me.”  He made her a sack and she concealed it in the usual way.

    “I’ll see you tomorrow,” she said.  “Remember, it’s just about the head shop, I don’t know how she’d feel if she knew……well…… know.”

    He nodded and asked, “Why do you suppose her other half was so willing to let her go?”

    “I didn’t think about that,” Debbie said, “Usually he wouldn’t.”

    He nodded and gave her a mysterious grin.

    “Smokey Jones!  What are you hiding from me?”  Debbie asked.

    “In time I’ll tell you, I don’t want to jinx the universe.”

    She gave him a sidelong glance of disapproval and slipped out the door.  “Strange things afoot,” she mumbled as she headed back to her tent.  “Come on Budweiser, we need some rest so we’ll be fresh in the morning.”


    Rose woke later than usual but it wasn’t a school day so it didn’t matter.  She rolled over in the bed and shook Roger gently.  He opened his eyes, “What?”

    “One night or two?”

    “Who would get Paula off to school?”

    “I think Dorathy has Monday off.”  It really didn’t matter to Rose if she had one or two days so long as there wasn’t hell to pay when she got home.

    “How much spending money do you have?”  He asked.

    “Enough for either.”

    “Then you decide,” he told her.

    “I’ll let you know tomorrow morning,” she kissed him lightly on the cheek and rolled out of bed.  “I’ll tell the kids.”

    She went into the living room where Dorathy was eating breakfast at her desk.  “You have to work today?”

    “Yeah,” she said.

    “I’m going to Tulsa for the weekend, will you get Paula off to school for me Monday?”

    “I have to be there at eight so I suppose I could.”  She lowered her voice, “He’s really going to let you go off on your own for the weekend?”

    “I won’t be alone, I’ll have Budweiser and Debbie with me.  I might be home late Sunday but then again, if we are having fun I may stretch it to Monday.”

    “So you’ll be gone when I get home this evening?”  Dorathy asked.

    “That’s the plan.  There are plenty of things to eat in the kitchen without having to cook-cook, unless your dad wants to opt for burgers.”

    “Bring me back a postcard?”  She smiled.

    Rose kissed her on the forehead, “I’ll bring you back a postcard.  Sure you wouldn’t rather have a shot glass?”

    “Mo-om…… KNOW I don’t drink.”

    “Suit yourself,” Rose said with a smile, “Have a good day at work, I’m gonna go get a shower.”

    “I love you.”

    “I love you too!”


    Rose was eating a bowl of cereal when the knock came.  “Come it!”

    Debbie came in with her satchel looking thicker than usual, “All packed to go,” she said, “I just need to shower and such.”

    “Where’s Budweiser?”  Rose asked.

    “He’s outside laying in the sun,” she grinned.  “He loves to do that.”

    Roger wandered into the room and started making himself a bowl, “Good morning Debbie.”

    “Good morning!  Are you in need of the bathroom?”  She asked.

    “Naw,” he told her, “I use the one in the master bedroom, you’re good.”

    “So I can go now?”  She asked.

    “Yeah, the kids will probably sleep in anyway and we do have the other one.”  Rose said.

    Debbie liked the pocket doors, “Older houses have some personality,” she thought.


    Roger stopped short of pouring the milk and decided to show Rose how to operate the phone.  He reminded her what the passcode was to unlock it, “Now see!”  She complained, “This is why I don’t like these things, if you have to do all that just to answer one it can slow you down or make you have to pull over to answer it.  I’m telling you Roger, I’m not keeping it on when I’m driving.”

    “Well call me when you get there and before you leave will ya?”

    “I will,” she promised.

    The kids woke and they went to their computers.

    “I’m going to Tulsa,” Rose told them, “There’s stuff to make sandwiches and some heat and eat stuff in the freezer.  Dad might want to spring for burgers one night.”

    “Why are you going?”   Paula asked.  Franklin stopped to listen before disappearing into his room.

    “I want to get out of the house for a while and go site-seeing.  I might even see some good garage sales along the way.”

    Paula looked a little put out but Franklin hugged her and went to his room.

    “I’m sorry I’m not taking you Paula, but you guys don’t even like to be in the car for an hour and this is a real, genuine, road trip.  Besides, you have school Monday.  Dorathy will get you up and take you.”

    “I could miss one day,” she said.

    “You’d get bored honey.  Maybe some other time okay?”

    She sat down at her computer and said, “Whatever…….”

    Roger was looking at Rose as if to say, “You had that coming……..”  She ignored it.

    Rose packed four changes of clothes and a dorm shirt for sleeping.  She would only be gone two days but even in late spring there could be a cool spell, she wanted to be prepared.  Debbie joined her in the bedroom looking very nice.  Debbie never dressed like a bag lady, you’d only know she lived the way she did would be if you knew her personally.  Rose was through putting on her make-up and packing it in a little bag she kept just for that, a bag she hadn’t used in years.  Debbie slipped her a bag of weed and without a word Rose hid it in a false bottom she had on one of her make-up containers.  Debbie was impressed but knew to keep quiet with Roger in the house.  The last thing Rose packed was the silver box. 

    “Did you ever tell him about…..” Debbie began.

    “No,” Rose interrupted her, “But I will sometime.”  She completed her packing and the two women went into the living room.  Roger was already on his computer so Rose went to kiss the kids before she left and then Roger, he barely looked up at her.  She grabbed her purse and duffel and asked Debbie, “You ready to go?”

    “Ready when you are,” She said.

    They went and got into the Charger and Rose asked, “Where to?”

    Debbie smiled, “Smokey’s house.”

    “Say what?!”

    “There’s a head shop there he wants to check out,” Debbie said.

    Rose started the car and backed out; Smokey lived nearby so she knew where to go.  Shaking her head she navigated the neighborhood.  He was ready when they arrived and came bounding out of the door, he got into the back seat, “Guess I’m riding with Budweiser,” he laughed.  Rose wondered if Smokey could sing bass. 

    “Do we need to make any stops before we go?”  She asked.  They answered “No” in unison.  She took her music collection out of the console and handed it to Debbie, “Let’s roll.”

    “The whole route’s gonna be mainly secondary roads,” Rose said, “but I like it that way.”  She turned on the GPS and set it for the most direct route and commented laughing, “The lady sounds really irritated if you don’t go the way she says.”  Smokey chuckled.

    “What?” Debbie asked.

    “A woman’s voice to give directions,” his eyes twinkled playfully.

    “Don’t believe those stereotypes,” Rose told him.

    He stretched out in the back and looped his legs over Budweiser, “Are we there yet?”  He chuckled again before he closed his eyes and snored for the next fifty miles.

    Debbie was enjoying the sunshine and the country roads, it had been a while since they’d taken a drive anywhere without a time table involved.  Rose seemed lost in thought so Debbie asked her what was on her mind.  She did a double take before she answered, the kind you use when you don’t want to reveal the truth, “Nothing much, just surprised that Roger let me go so easily.”

    “Wouldn’t you let him?” Debbie asked.

    “There was a time I would have.  I’m not sure now.  Something like that would be so out of character for him that I think I’d get suspicious.”  She said.

    “So you’re suspicious he let you go so easy?”  Debbie asked.

    “Enough that if we didn’t have Smokey with us I’d likely go spy on the house and see what happens.”

    “You would?!”  Debbie asked.

    “Darn Skippy I would.  As it is I’m not sure if I want to know why he said yes.” Rose said.

    “Well don’t let it ruin the rest of the weekend.”  Debbie sounded grumpy.