A man stands by the side of the road, squinting into the parched distance. His shoes are encrusted with the dust from the road ahead, the same road that carried his father’s truck to their house, before his father carried his mother over the threshold. Nothing ever changes. This dust will cling to his clothes, his feet, his skin, his nostrils — no soap will take it off.
There’s a tension in the air — someone’s just died, someone’s just been killed, someone’s going to fight, someone’s going to cook — the tension hangs and lingers, and changes with each man who tells of it.
Someone dies or gets the shit kicked out of them in each new tale. Someone breaks up, gets laid or remembers someone who left for greener pastures. There’s fleeting light in the sky — the stars themselves seem to fall at the end of a wearyingly sad day, and you know things will be different forever. Nothing stays the same.
It’s about gritty people, not city folk. A strong-jawed, strong-willed woman comes in to tell you what’s what, and another one, a simpering, whining one who won’t stop crying long enough to tell you what’s happened. The man whose voice you’re hearing is thinking; he’s a quiet man who listens more than he talks. There’s a fast talker in the room, he’s referencing Manitoba, Headlingley, Winnipeg, Hydro — he’s from where you’re from, or he knows someone who is. You’ll need to be fast on your feet, good with your hands, and maybe think about bringing a gun.
This is a chance for you to get to know real people, and see them in their worst moments, but it’s real, all of it — the feeling is, anyway. This is your chance to be led around by a woman with “frizzy blonde hair and a freckly complexion.” She’s got a name — like Maureen, Doreen or Tina. She ain’t lookin’ for trouble, and neither are you, but somehow, you just know it’s going to come.
Wayne Tefs wrote a book called Meteor Storm, and you should read it.