He likes the club sandwich at the Good Eats Diner. They toast it just right, and put on so much mayo it oozes out and he licks it off his fingers. Just the right ratio of meat to veggies to bread, all stacked up and held with a toothpick. And it comes with a pickle. Too bad he won’t come back here; he never eats in the same diner twice.
Nothing left on the plate but crumbs. He tucks a ten under the water glass—not a glass, but that cheap plastic tumbler you find in every diner. The rest of the bills go folded back in his left jacket pocket. The right pocket is full.
He takes his time walking back to his truck, not in a hurry to be on the road again. It’s so boring, those miles on miles on miles of interstate. He gets so tired of the billboards and the traffic and the lines on the asphalt whizzing by. He gets so sick of those people with their happy lives and their normal jobs on solid ground. He gets so angry when he’s seen by no one, moving state to state leaving no trace, Mr. Inconsequential mattering to nobody nowhere.
When darkness falls, he pulls off at a truck stop, miles on miles on miles of road between him and the Good Eats Diner. He’s still thinking about the salty crunch of that pickle. Settling into his bunk, he pulls the .22 out of his pocket, and tucks it under his pillow, then switches on the portable TV.
“Good evening, I’m Kenneth Becker with KTV News. Breaking News this hour: Police are looking for information in the death of a 23-year-old store clerk who was shot in the back of the head this afternoon while stocking shelves in a small gift store just off the I-65. The victim’s name was Christie Bernard, the latest in a recent string of shootings in small towns throughout Indiana and Kentucky. Similar to previous crimes, a number of small bills were missing from the cash register. Police are now treating these killings as connected as the similarities stack up.”