One dollar? Shit, there’s a friggin’ toll? On the “Po White Parkway”? Stupid Richmond. Virginia. Still sticking it to the poor whites, I see. That’s me, you know, ain’t I a “po white?” God, a toll! When did that happen?
Jerry? Wake up! Jerry!
I swear to God, there never used to be a toll. Mother of God, fucking highway robbery. So much for cops and robbers, man. Friggin’ cops are robbers now, man. Yeah, I’d like to see them do five years hard time. Five years, 2 months, 7 days, 12 hours, and 18 minutes to be exact. First degree burglary, my ass, nobody was supposed to be home. Yeah, you fuckin’ swore to that, didn’t you Jerry! Jerry the Pirate. Jerry the Pea-Head is more like it, and you getting goddamn probation. Probation! Shit, whole thing was your idea.
Hey, wake up and gimme a dollar! Christ, he’s out like a light. Fucking ‘ludes, man—you been asleep the last 5 years! Shit, roll over so I can check your pocket, asshole. Jesus, when did you start “buckling up,” fool?
Crap. Exact change only. After 11 pm. How the hell’s a guy supposed to have exact fucking change? You know how long it’s been since I had any change, sucker? Five years, 2 months, 7 days, 12 hours, and 18 minutes—no, no, 19 minutes--to be exact. Waiting in this goddamn lane. Shit. Got me a twenty and that’s it.
Jerry, wake the hell up, I need a dollar.
Fuck. Forget it.
OK, OK, lay off the horn, asshole!
Oh god. Exact fucking change only. I’ve only got a twenty, you stupid robot. The hell I’m gonna give you my life savings. Oh and what’s this? Turn off my wipers, please? Oh yeah, you gonna make me you little blink, blink red light? Huh? You wanna take my picture? How’s that, swish, swish, swish. Here, have some squirter juice you dumb fuck. Squirt, squirt, squirt.
Dammit Jerry—wake the fuck up!
Stop honking! Oh crap. One dollar exact change. All right, all right!
Shit, here goes, buckle up. Oh well.
Take that, you little blink, blink red-light mother fucker!
Photo copy write to Elizabeth Bruce 2016
Bio: DC-based native-Texan writer/theatre artist Elizabeth Bruce’s debut novel, And Silent Left the Place, won Washington Writers’ Publishing House Fiction Prize and garnered distinctions from Texas Institute of Letters, ForeWord Magazine, and Small Press Distributors. She’s published in Gargoyle 64, Bare Back Magazine, Lines & Stars, Paycock Press' Gravity Dancers, Long Short Story, and the Washington Post; upcoming publications include Inklette and Firewords Quarterly. She’s received grants from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, Poets & Writers, and the McCarthey Dressman Educational Foundation. With Michael Oliver and Jill Navarre Elizabeth co-founded Sanctuary Theatre; her work won Carpetbag Theatre’s Lucas Award & has been produced at Capital Fringe Festival, Adventure Theatre, & Sanctuary Theatre. She has long been the Arts Director/Community Arts Producer at the bilingual, multicultural educational organization, CentroNía.