October 14th | Andrea Goyan

 

“A blues band in each car, and all the beer or wine you can drink for the price of admission,” Randy handed two tickets to the guy dressed like a conductor. “Sounds good.”
Mindy squeezed his elbow. “It’s super fun.”
He snorted, as they boarded the train. If Mindy was happy, there was a chance he’d get laid, which was the only reason he’d bought the pricey tickets. Passing a cooler, he grabbed four ice-cold beers, two for each of them. They sat in the first open seats.
The Durango and Silverton Railroad was one of the last coal-burning trains in the West, and as soon as they began to move down the track, Randy knew why. It was loud, hot (even with the windows open), and the old leather seats did nothing to cushion the rocky vibrations. The two-hour ride was sure to aggravate his hemorrhoids.
“Wow. This is…” he started to say horrible, but Mindy interrupted.
“…Perfect. Just what I imagined.”
She leaned in and gave him a big kiss. Her lips were sticky and tasted like the strawberry gloss she slathered on them.
“Alright then,” he said, popping open a beer.
She did the same.
“Cheers,” Randy said.
They touched cans.
Chug, chug, chug. The train clacked.
Glug, glug, glug. One beer down. Randy opened a second. Music wafted from the next car. It was dreadful, but Mindy wriggled closer and put her hand on Randy’s thigh.
The way she looked at him was special. Sure, he’d watched her flirt her way through her shifts at Park’s Diner, but it was for show because all the truckers lusted after her. The first time Randy asked her out, she laughed and said, “How would the other guys feel if I showed you that favor?”
But here he was, and she’d kissed him. Randy smiled.
A musician strumming a guitar entered their car. Mindy sat up taller. The dark-haired man made his way down the narrow aisle banging into seats with the train’s oscillations. He stepped into a nook near the door.
Opening the coat of his threadbare Herringbone suit, he loosened his tie and belted in a raspy voice, “I got the blues.”
Mindy turned away from Randy, and he watched as she adjusted her blouse down, exposing her ample cleavage.
The musician tipped his worn fedora.
“Howdy, Mindy,” he said between refrains.
“Billy,” she said.
Randy touched Mindy’s shoulder. She pushed him away.
Billy laughed. “Two nights in a row?”
Mindy stood, “If you’re offering.”
“Mindy?” Randy said.
Billy stopped strumming and held out his hand. Mindy took it.
“Sorry, Randy. I love me a bluesman.” She tossed him her second beer. “Door prize.”
As Mindy and Billy kissed, Randy opened the beer. I’m a fool. He took a swig. Nothing came out. The damn thing was frozen solid, just like his dreams.
He sighed, stuck the can between his legs, then wailed, “My baby left me. I got the iced thighs lonely trucker blues.”