Low Road is the only story I’ve completed. The first draft was awful. But out of respect to the only novel I’ve finished, I’ve always felt compelled to complete it. Hopefully it’s presentable, albeit much, MUCH shorter.
Recap: Rod Townshend is 25-year-old low life that hops from one grift to another. His relationship with fellow scumbag Jack Schilling, a burned out writer, has dissolved. As Rod prepares to leave town, he gets some unexpected news….
I was done with Oklahoma. I should have ignored Jeanne’s text
When I arrived at her place, she sat down and told me to remain standing.
“How did Phillip get cocaine?” she asked.
“Oh shit” I thought.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I told her
“Yes you do. I know it was you. You don’t have to lie. You gave Phillip drugs. He told me as much.” She replied
“So fucking what?”
“Phillip and Angel got into a little driving accident last night. Philip was higher than a fucking kite. They’re fine but are hospitalized. Now he faces a DUI and drug possession charge. His military career and whatever dreams he had are gone.”
“Okay, so I supplied him the drugs. How is it my fault that he did something stupid while on them?”
“Angel was pregnant.”
“The accident killed the child inside of her. When I confronted Phillip about this, he told me that he never had sex with her. How do you explain that, Rod?”
I suddenly became ill. My knees started to buckle. The world fell silent.
I had two choices: I could either run or lash out. I chose to lash out.
“How do I explain what? You want me to take the fall for your son’s failures? You know that you’re such a terrible mother that you feel the need to blame me? Take responsibility for your own fucking actions. Don’t throw around accusations at me. You raised a loser son who fucked up his future. Deal with it!”
She took amusement in my anger. She lit up a cigarette and said:
“I don’t want to see your face again. Not around here. You see, I know everyone. I know the police chief. I can tell him you’re a drug dealer and you’re off to jail. If I do see you again, that will be the last time. So leave. Don’t look back.”
I didn’t look back.
I went directly to Taryn’s place.
“Come on. Pack your things. I’ve got the money. We’re going to California!”, I told her
She was hesitant.
“What about my friends?” she asked.
“There’s friends everywhere! Are you talking about your share of the rent? Here’s $200. Just leave a note.”
It took more convincing. I threw her stuff into the bed of the truck. She just stared at me.
“I don’t know, I told my friends that I was going to stick around. I feel bad for them.” She said.
“Look, fuck em. You have an opportunity right now! There’s nothing going on here. Your friends are adults that can take care of themselves. Seize the fucking day!”
Taryn reluctantly agreed. We were California-bound.