Segment 15: When a Third World Came West

                After my linguistics class I walked up the cement path past the Biology lab where I worked on Fridays cleaning out fruit flies from plastic tubes frozen with blue ice, to the first  house on the left side of North O’Kelly Avenue’s row of dettached homes.  I stopped in front of the parking spot to see an empty lot where my white car used to be.  Sam still had it and he didn’t have a cell phone so I couldn’t dial him up asking him if he’d looked at that pizza place in the strip mall plaza off the highway, if he’d checked out the row of shops on Trollinger where the cyber cafe was, or if in general if he was gone or if he had left with my car, or if he was leaving forever and not coming ack.   What should I do?  I sat up on the top steps of our small white clapboard one story houses’ front porch deck, where the two wooden dressers I’d bought wholesale from Hickory were sitting on newspaper, drying from Sherwin-Williams eggshell white-pink spray. There were drips above the handles on the tops of the middle and last drawers and for the most part it looked like a professional job. I took out a cigarette from my brown sack bag and lit it with a nearby lighter that I’d found with the grey-white striped wrapper that Sam had kept and brought with him all around Italy with the wrapping peeled off half-way.  I smoked I puffed and I put out my cigarette later under a sagebrush bush near the deck open to the slit in the foundation under our house.  I walked up and down our parking lot, I walked back up to our stairs.  I couldn’t bring myself to go inside.  With my brown sack purse still strung over my neck, by my side, I kept walking walking past my house down Haggard Avenue, past the Belk Library, past the fountain which I’d passed before and up to the red stoplight where I crossed the street to student police.         

                I sat in this woman’s brown carpeted office, rocking my tan but now sun burnt legs on top of my other one, surveying her room for pictures, looking for people I might know on a photograph collage of Elon students up on a cork board by some certificates against her laminate wall.  I rocked some more, kept my arms folded to myself and watched her continue to fill out the information I gave her on a pink slip of paper.  She understood; this had happened apparently in scenarios before.  Before turning right out of the building I looked left towards the apartment building where Kim used to live, and I put on my sunglasses remembering when I’d crossed the street after spending the night at her house to snatch pot from a feeder plant in her boyfriend Jeremy’s house.  I walked and walked looking for more people I could talk to, peering into the rolled down windows of a red and blue sedan of cars driving past me.  I didn’t care who I saw I just wanted to meet someone and talk.  I got up to the biology lab, remembered that my boss Catherine wouldn’t be back for another week and then I got up to my parking lot and saw my white car in one of the parking space in front of our house.  I felt so guilty.  I wanted to take all I’d said to the policewoman back.  Sam saw me standing outside from inside the house, knocking from inside our bedroom on the window facing the limp dead looking magnolia tree and pointing that he’d come outside to meet me.  We smoked some Camels on our steps, he told me that the lady liked him at some bbq sandwich cafe and that she’d given him a job after she’d shared a sweet tea and smokes with him outside on a picnic table.  I was picturing a blond large lady with fake gold hoop earrings who laughed too loud and who could double as a sweet nurse by night.  But if it got him paid, if he helped with the rent than I was all for it.  I sucked in a puff, put out my cigarette again by my bush in front of the foundation of our house, and got up to get the keys to tell Sam I needed to go to the library to check my email.  Sam said he wanted to go.  He got my keys out of my hand and jumped in the front seat so I jumped in the passenger side and rolled down my window.  After he sped up to the library, screeching into the parking lot, he missed the look on my face after I eyed the police lady I’d just chatted with in the security office.  She stepped out wrote stuff on a pink slip then handed it to Sam.  After he balled it up and threw it on the ground the policewoman ran up arrested him, and put her siren and lights on turning right outside the lot, and leaving me leaning against my white car wanting to hide.


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