Saturday, August 13, 2011

Methy Me

"Hey, get ready and we'll go see what's happen'in downtown." calls the husband to me. I'm propped up in bed with my ever present laptop for entertainment.

My trauma this morning of the missing seat control in the roadster has made me take to my bed. Not really but the heat has driven me inside and I'm happy here. Have I mentioned that it's August in the deep south and true to form it's miserably hot and so am I. Miserable.

I was ready to go save for a swipe of lipstick and a spritz of perfume. I may leave the house without lipstick but I always have a fragrance wafting from me.

I slipped inside the truck, the a/c on high where I like it. The husband had the truck started and cooled off while I stalled long enough in the house for it to be nice and icy by the time I got in. I know how to play this game of keepin cool.

His plan was to drive around and look at patios. We are having an estimate on extending our patio and having it walled in. A contractor showed up yesterday to look over the job we want done.

A courtyard look is what we are going for. Something walled in, wrought iron gates, a jacuzzi in one corner and lots of foliage in pots. We headed for an older section of town where the houses are older, larger and surrounded by black wrought iron fences.

I mentioned that hardly a person could be seen. Alfresco dining tables stood empty; the clients seated inside and visible through the large plate glass windows sipping on iced drinks and ignoring the heat. We cruised neighborhoods and the downtown and then headed for the Best Stop for some cracklins and boudin balls. It's a lazy Saturday here and as long as I'm cool, I'll go anywhere.

We munched the boudin balls and the cracklins knowing later we would pay with either heartburn or indigestion. It didn't matter right then. We were enjoying our tasty treat.

Carencro is a small little town that has edged to the city limits of Lafayette and this is where we found ourselves in our aimless journey. Stalled in the road, a van had traffic skirting out around to pass. Two women stood at the back of the van that was covered with such a thick layer of dust, the color was indistinguishable. The back glass had a cleared swiped area where the rear windshield wiper had knocked of a layer of dirt.

As we rolled to a halt, one of the women walked quickly up to the driver's side of the truck. As the husband rolled down the window, I took a quick study of the approaching woman. Living in a semi large city, being observant is a huge asset to one's safety.

The woman was in her early 40's, thin to the point of emaciation and covered in red welts. Her arms and the part of her chest visible in the V necked shirt angry, red and swollen. She wore jeans so her legs wern't visilble. The first thing she said was, "I'm out of gas. Could you push me to the service station just up the road?"

To this, I said, "No, that's not a safe thing to do." She assured me that she had someone push her vehicle in the past and they drove a truck. The 4 wheel drive we are in has 21 inch wheels on it and towered above that van's bumper. Pushing her vehicle was not an option but we offered to go get some gas for her. She went back to her van and bought back a 2 gallon plastic gas container.

As we pulled away, the husband remarked "She has had a meth makeover huh?" Yeah, I had to agree. Her jittery manner of talking and moving, the vacant eyes and the red welts are your clues. Take note and be careful.

The service station that "was just down the road" was more like a mile away. We got back to them with the gas and while I poured it in the tank, she laughed nervously as she said

 "My gas gauge isn't acting right. I thought I had it figured out on how far I could go without running out but it did it again."

"This has happened before?" I asked.

"Oh yeah. My dad switched to diesel cause I kept stealing the gas from him."

I kept my face turned from her while she spoke rapid fire a litany of all the bad luck that had befallen her in the past 4 years including losing her son. I knew the answer before I asked, but I asked anyway.

"What happened to your son?"

One word she said "Overdosed"  and I noddled as I murmured an "I'm sorry."

I waited until she got back into the van and cranked it over. As soon as the engine caught, I handed her the red gas can, waved off her offer to pay for the gas and hurried back to the truck.

Meth makeovers are never a pretty thing.

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