Tuesday Morning at the Sad Motel


(page 4 of 6)

Greta eventually glanced over at Ben as if suddenly becoming aware of his presence for the first time. "What are you doing?" she asked, sounding somehow annoyed.

"What? Nothing, Ben said.

"Go get some ice," Greta said.

"Ice? What for?"

"Just go get some fucking ice!"

Ben knew better than to argue. He finished the wine in his cup and got up from his chair. He took the room key and a can of beer. He looked for an ice bucket but didn't see one. "I'll be back," he said. Greta looked at him as if he were a hostile stranger speaking another language. He went outside to look for ice.

Ben walked around the entire building a few times but didn't see an ice machine. He found a soda machine and a candy machine but no ice machine. He walked around the building a third time with no better luck. He headed towards the office to see if maybe the ice machine was in there, or if the guy behind the desk could tell him where to find one. When he approached the office he saw that the man behind the desk was talking on the phone. The man had a strange look on his face as he talked into the phone, as if he were in some kind of pain. He didn't look happy. Ben decided not to bother him. He stood in the parking lot drinking his can of beer, wondering where he might find some ice.

Ben remembered seeing a convenience store not too far away from the motel. He walked in that direction. When he got there they were still open and they had ice. He bought some ice and a pack of cigarettes for Greta. Seeing that it was coming up on 2 a.m., he bought another six pack of beer as well. The thought of running out of beer made Ben nervous.

On the way back to the room Ben passed the office and saw that the man was still on the phone. He still didn't look very happy and seemed to be arguing with whoever was on the other end of the phone. When Ben stepped back into the little room he saw that Greta was on the phone was well. She didn't look any happier than the guy behind the desk. She didn't acknowledge Ben's return. Ben put the bag of ice in the bathroom sink and sat back down in the chair by the tape player. He drank beer and listened to Greta's half of the phone conversation. He didn't have a choice; it was a small room and Greta was screaming more than she was talking. Ben assumed it was a guy on the other end of the phone. It seemed that Ben was always listening to Greta argue with guys on the phone. She kept calling whoever it was on the phone an asshole.

"You're an asshole," Greta screamed into the phone. "A fucking, fucking asshole!" Then she was quiet a moment as she listened to whatever the person on the other end of the phone had to say. Greta looked as if she had been crying, or was about to. "Shut up," she said, "my god, just shut up!" Greta glanced over at Ben, perhaps only then realizing he had returned. "I have to go," she said to the person on the phone, "he's back."

Ben had actually been back for a good 15 minutes. "What?" Greta said into the phone, "Am I going to fuck him? Of course I'm going to fuck him! I'm gonna suck his fucking dick, asshole, what do you think I'm gonna do? What? I'm a what? At least I'm not a fucking asshole!"

Tuesday Morning at the Sad Motel continues...
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About William Taylor Jr


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William Taylor Jr. lives and writes in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. His work has been published widely in journals across the globe, including The New York Quarterly, The Chiron Review, and Poesy. An Age of Monsters, his first book of fiction, was published by Epic Rites Press in 2011. To Break...read more the Heart of the Sun (Words Dance, 2016) is his latest collection of poetry. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and was a recipient of the 2013 Acker Award. He has a great and unironic love of both The Incredible Hulk and Olivia Newton-John
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