Tales of love and family.
Earlier this summer, a little girl from around the corner came to my house asking if she could wash her face in my sink. Her lips and cheeks were bright blue from a Blueberry Yuza Lemonade Slurpee. We got her face cleaned up and I pointed out to her that she had bright blue drips all down her white shirt and she gasped — she was going to be in big trouble with her granny who was very, very mean. Now, I’d met her granny before and agreed with that assessment, so I took her shirt to get the stains out and sent her on up the road wearing one of mine, which came down to her knees.
Slurpees have a mystique to them, even if they are probably poison. I let my own child have them on occasion, imagining their dyes to be childhood’s embalming fluid, perfectly preserving every kid’s most fond memories.
But my favorite story about Slurpees involves adults.
Years back now, my friend Skip was hitchhiking to my house and he had to cross five states. The first ride was easy and got him part of the way through Alabama, but he’s a funny-looking guy who holds his face kinda crazy, so hours passed without him snagging another ride. A preacher got him into Montgomery, but left him at a gas station after determining his soul couldn’t be saved, and a trucker got him to Birmingham before Skip ducked out during a bathroom break, worried he’d have to hear more about Nathan Bedford Forrest’s post-war army.
Just when Skip was calling me to say it was going to be a while before he’d get to my place, an older couple in a Buick swung open their back door and told him to crawl on in.
“Where ya headed?” asked the man in the driver’s seat and Skip told him he was headed north.
“We’re going to Indiana,” the man said. Skip couldn’t believe his luck — that’s where he was coming up to see me.
“I got a straight-through, I’ll be there soon” he texted me, settling into the bench seat in the back.
“We got a few stops on the way,” said the man.
Turns out they did. They stopped in Knoxville and Nashville, Corbin and London. In fact, they took almost every exit along the way.