White Girl on Two Meat Tuesday

She’s — well obviously — a white girl. The slightly pale complexion, and at one time, what would’ve been a good Goth look, but she’s too old for that. Always had a “Mortica Addams” air about her, the original, from the TV series in glorious black and white, and that single image stretches down through the years. The image, and the girl, gently lope across years and years to arrive here.

“You know I used to work at that Hilton, just up the street from here. No really, I was, like 17 at the time, I was the guera.

“You know, you could smoke at the front desk. Never bothered me, but it was strange, they used to send me down the street, it was the overnight shift, I’d get sent out for cigarettes and beer.

“I was only 17, stop and think about it, beer was, like 21 back then. So were cigarettes. I think they cost less than a dollar, but that was what I was told to do.

“I used to go to this convenience store, the guy there, after a couple of trips, he told me he know I wasn’t from here.”

Her pale complexion, soft and almost luminous against the backdrop of a darkened interview room. The sun was low in the western sky, thin shards of pale ochre visible as the sliver of moon set, too. She smiled. The luminosity is framed by long hair, straight and brown. In the stillness and shadows, her hair appears black.

“I didn’t know. The guy at the counter, he said, ‘You’re not from around here,’ and I thought, ‘Sure I am,’ just work up the street.

“He says, ‘You’re no old enough buy beer, so it’s not for you.’ Of course I told him it wasn’t for me.

“It was quite a long way, must’ve been a mile or more, they’d send me out after the 11 shift started, the overnight crew. I didn’t know any better; certainly didn’t know to be scared or nothing. I think that store wasn’t far from a church.

“So one time, he says to me, ‘Know how I know you’re not from around here,’ he says, and lifted up his shirt, he was like, you know, huge, and there was his name, or some name, tattooed across his belly.

“So he says, ‘See?’ And there was a pistol, like a little chrome Saturday Night Special, tucked into his waistband, big stomach and all, that hair, the tattoo, arched over it all.

“Maybe it was supposed to scare the little white girl, but no, I didn’t know no fear. Never did. I grew up here; this is as much my town as it is theirs. No division.”

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