Johnny America


Let­ter to Bet­ty J


To Bet­ty J:

I want you to sit on my lap, even if I have to dri­ve to Tul­sa to make it hap­pen. Your smile is about the dumb­est thing I’ve seen and I want you to go from non-smile to smile like tick-tock, tick-tock. Re­mem­ber how I called your best friend the night be­fore I took you out on our first date just so she’d know I was go­ing to start dat­ing you in­stead of her? She nev­er sound­ed so beau­ti­ful in her lack of words. I saw the way you looked at me when you heard her say, “this is­n’t hap­pen­ing any­more” over the loud speak­er of the phone. We both know who looked away first.

When I get to Tul­sa I hope that you’ve called your land­lord about the rat prob­lem. It’s just not safe to sleep in a house with rats run­ning loose in the walls. Dur­ing the night they could come in and get on your bed and if you have food on your face or hands still you may get bit. I’d hate to see that hap­pen. You got such a beau­ti­ful face. I tell you that all the time. I’d hate to see it get bit by a rat.

Now I’ll be tak­ing the train in­stead of the bus this time. I know I told you dif­fer­ent on the phone. While the train ride is ac­tu­al­ly more ex­pen­sive I feel I’ll be far more com­fort­able with it and it won’t take near­ly as long.

I know you have to work at 6:30 a.m. but the train gets to Tul­sa at 5:45 so you’ll just have to be late that day as I want you to dri­ve me to your house so I can go to sleep rather than hav­ing me wan­der around all day wait­ing for you to get off of work. Have your moth­er pick me up if the above just is­n’t pos­si­ble for you. But why would it not be? You know I’d do it for you any day of the week.

When we talked on the phone last week you had men­tioned want­i­ng to go to a wa­ter park that’s new in town while I’m there. Why would you want to do that? You know I’m not the swim­ming kind. Can you pic­ture me in a swim­ming suit with my bel­ly stick­ing out of some brown shorts, my chest hair all mat­ted down? If you re­al­ly want to go you’re gonna have to help me fig­ure some things out first. If we go I’d like to go in the af­ter­noon as swim­ming, when I have done it, makes me aw­ful tired and why ru­in the whole day if we’re on­ly gonna be swim­ming for a few hours. Now if you wan­na be go­ing down them slides or do­ing that pul­ley thing where you hold on­to the strap un­til you get above the wa­ter and fall that’s fine. I’ll watch you. Just don’t make a big deal out of it when I tell you no way Jose. I’ll find speed on my own time.

What I’d like to do on the first week­end I’m there and you’re not work­ing is dri­ve over to Pon­ca City, Ok­la­homa as that is where my Un­cle Jack lives. He’s the one I told you about that owns them car deal­er­ships and fast food restau­rants. If I call far enough in ad­vance and let him know we are com­ing he’ll let us stay at his house. And what a house it is! A man­sion prac­ti­cal­ly. I’d like to see if he could get me a sweet deal on a car when I’m there but it would have to be some­thing mighty cheap as you know where I stand now with the moola. He’ll be good for meals and en­ter­tain­ment. He knows the whole town. I re­mem­ber go­ing out to eat with him as a kid and by the time I got my food the en­tire restau­rant would have his card. Hell of a guy that Jack. He’s old now but I trust him. Even if you don’t want to go I’ll go on my own.

Be­fore I for­get to tell you I still have that Barnes and No­ble $20 gift cer­tifi­cate you can buy from me for $20 when I get there.

When you were up here last time I had told you about this guy Craig that I had been call­ing Vic for years. Turns out re­mem­ber that was his wife Vick­y’s nick­name? Her name is still Vicky or Vic I guess as she ain’t dead and they’re still mar­ried. I bet I’d been call­ing Craig his wife’s name for five or six years. I ran in­to him the oth­er day and I did­n’t call him noth­ing. I just said “hel­lo” when I saw him and he walked on by and said, “Nice to see you Clarence.” He said that just as I passed him by. So I said “Same to ya’ ” with­out say­ing Craig. It’s gonna be hard to see him now be­cause I do see him about once a week be­cause of the job. The oth­er night when I was sit­ting at home af­ter work I start­ed try­ing to re­mem­ber, you know, rack my brain why it is I start­ed call­ing him Vic and I just could­n’t put a fin­ger on it.You said you did­n’t re­mem­ber him or his wife but you knew his chil­dren, the ones that are re­al bitch­es to all the oth­er girls. Any­ways, I know his name now.

The date I’ll be there is April 11, 5:45 a.m. at the Tul­sa Am­trak station.



Filed under Fiction on January 19th, 2006

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Mr. Beard wrote:


a. cavaticus wrote:

This guy re­al­ly stirs my oats. If I had the chance to smack him one, I would.

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