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04 October 2013

Charlie Visits Walmart

Rudolfo Carrillo

by Rudolfo Carrillo

He is driving a car that is colored like ashes or the far reaches of intergalactic space and will be good and goddamned when an oil-smeared and dustylike the petroleum gathering machinery of Oklahoma in the Thirtiesgroup of humans stops right in the fucking road, and he has to turn the wheel sharply to the left, else those folks be rendered lifeless components of the inanimate galaxy all around them.

They are waiting for a straggler who is still on the other side of the wide avenue. Leonard is taking a piss on the big, green electrical transformer that sits next to the rubbish dumpster behind the Walmart Supercenter. Yelling and cajoling him to be done with his relief, fearful of the heat which such watery pause often brings, at least one of them is also thinking about the simplicity and order of life in jail. None of them see the car turn the corner on a vector that might well forcefully intercept their desperate but satisfying congregation.

Thanks to Charlie's lightning-fast reflexes, a collision does not occur. He is past them and gliding into a parking space before the group's laggard finishes his work and passes out with his pants around his knees. The man's associates are fairly howling with laughter and recrimination and head on down the street, leaving Leonard to rot in the bright sunshine while our protagonist pulls himself out of the driver's seat using a kind of leverage that is ordinarily reserved for those obsessed with the weather.

The doors to the Walmart Supercenter slide open automatically when you approach them. Before he is in range of that miraculous technological demonstration, a sun-flattened man wearing a mesh baseball cap
with the name of a natural gas supplier in Lubbock, Texas embroidered roughly up frontrambles up casual-like and asks about the rain and wind. Charlie tells him it ain't ordinarily this dry and just wait until October. When the conversation veers toward money, Charlie draws out a fiver from his left front pocket and hands it over with stormy admonitions accompanying the transaction.

It only takes them a few minutes to account for and bag up his purchase: objects designed for consumption, the mysterious high-tech life-saving devices of probable Venusian origin that generally come along with those solid, liquid and gaseous forms. Charlie rushes home afterward so he can spend the rest of the early morning investigating other worlds.

He did not see the humans in the parking lot again. Charlie believes they retreated toward the tool section of the Walmart Supercenter. Maybe some of them are watching the tropical fish in the pet department. After unpacking, admiring and then storing his new acquisitions, he falls into a deep sleep and dreams that a navigable river flows through the midst of the Sandia Mountains, that there is a colorful restaurant on the edge of town, down a muddy road, where anyone who asks for a meal will be fed until they nearly burst.

Rudolfo Carrillo / a fifth-wave feminist from the fourth estate | a burqueña | a ladyboss | a writer + editor

I am a fifth-wave feminist and a reluctant member⸺hey, Groucho knew whereof he quipped⸺of both the fourth estate and the gig economy. I am an Albuquerque-based freelance writer, editor and social media marketing and branding+PR consultant. I remain an observant ’90s riot grrrl and a devout practitioner of halfhearted yoga posturing and zen and the art of the sentence diagram.


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