GOOD NEWS

“Yeh but it’s been like weeks and weeks,” he said in an impatient but measured tone, as Tim backed out of the parking lot at the Dairy Queen. “It’s not like you to fall off the face of the earth that way Tim, I mean not in all the years I’ve known you. Not you and me bud. We always stayed in touch.” He took a long drag on his cigarette, looked at it, flicked it out the window and looked deadpan at Tim.

Tim played with the radio and found a station to satisfy, for the moment anyway. He started bebopping around and singing to whatever god-awful and nonsensical rappy kind of thing that was playing. “You didn’t say anything about the new stereo,” he was beaming with pride and turning it up LOUD. “What, didn’t you notice it?” he yelled to be heard over the music. “Look how cool.”

“Well yeh I noticed it. I also noticed how you finally got that windshield fixed, and you got yourself an inspection sticker too. How’d you pull that off? Congratulations my man.”

He was snickering.

“What? What are you laughing at?” Tim started laughing himself. “What?”

“Well I also noticed–well couldn’t help but wonder–the whole inside guts of that door are gone. What’s with that? I can’t imagine really,” still laughing.

Tim picked up a wire that was tucked under the seat, which now carried the little “control pad” of buttons to operate the electrc windows and doors that used to be built into the door.  He pressed on one of the down buttons to put his window all the way down, then threw the whole thing back under the seat. It was hot as hell out and apparently the air conditioning was still on the fritz in this old beater.

Tim lit a cigarette and looked ahead at the road, through big dark sunglasses. “The dog ate the door.”

“The dog.  Okay… You’re sayin the dog ate the door.”

“I swear.”

Silence.

“So yeh like I said Tim, it’s been weeks and weeks. I was startin to think you could be lying dead in a ditch somewhere. How would I even know that? And y’all uptight, what the hell? What’s the story?”

“Nothing. Will you stop already?”

“Come on now.”

“There’s no story,” he said, hardly over the bebop. “There’s no good news. That’s why you haven’t heard from me, okay?” He chucked his cigarette out the window. “I have no good news to report, you hear?  I ‘m sorry for disappointing you.  Jesus Christ.”

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