If you haven’t heard the story yet, Low Road was the only novel-sized draft I’ve written. I completed it three years ago. And because it was so bad, I’ve spent the last few months trying to edit it. I still don’t know if it’s a good story, but there you have it.
Recap: The drunkass Rod Townshend suffers a heart-attack after discovering that his girlfriend stole his truck and left him in the middle of nowhere. The doctor warns Rod to never drink or do drugs again. With no one else to turn to, Rod reaches out to his estranged mother.
I waited for hours. Then some joker appeared. He couldn’t have been much older than me. He sported some aviators and a light black jacket. I have never met him.
“Ready to go, sport!”
They wheelchaired me out to his car. It was a new Camaro.
“I’m Lance, what’s happening man?”
“Where’s my mom?”
“I’m her boyfriend.”
Apparently mom had better things to do. Lance was pretty handsome. Kinda cool. About 28. He offered me some weed and I took it.
Liberal was a typical west Kansas town. Just dead, flat land. Mom’s house was a mess. When I saw her, it appeared she’d lost a lot of weight. She also dyed her hair bleach blond. Had a few tattoos as well. She was only slightly older than Jeanne.
“A heart attack? How did that happen?”, she asked me.
Lance took all my stuff into the guest bedroom. We all sat down on the couch and started catching up.
“How is Sean? What’s he doing now?”, Mom asked.
“He works at one of the chicken plants in Grove. He’s a supervisor.”
“He was always a pussy. Ya’ll weren’t living together, were you?”
“We were, then he kicked me out.”
Mom was working for the school district in some capacity. She met Lance at one of the bars. They were engaged. She bought him the Camaro. Jared was never clear on what he did for a living. She wanted me to attend the AA meeting that was going on at her church. I agreed to go.
We stayed up for most of the night. Mom went to bed. Lance continued to knock back beers. I drank a few too. I thought that this would be my last night of drinking forever.
I had to go to AA.
The next day, I walked into a room with a bunch of strangers. They all looked like they belonged there. It was at some Catholic Church. We all waited for the host or whoever to show up.
Then she came in.
She was wearing dark-rimmed glasses. She had all kinds of tattoos up her arms. Then she introduced herself:
“I’m Daniella, and I’m an alcoholic.”