Chapter Four


     They crossed the bridge ~ a trestle bridge.  On the other side the road was paved ~ curved around and hooked onto a highway.

     "What's your name anyway?"

     "Ruthie Root Beer.  I'm the Road Princess of America."

     On the highway they caught a ride in the back of a pickup.  In the cab a big old man sat at the wheel.  A little yakitty poodle, glaring at the two strangers through the rear window, careened around the seat between the old man and an old lady, presumably, the old man's wife.

     "I've go-go-ed from Butte, Montana, to Corpus Cristi, Texas; from the Atlantic to the Pacific.  I'm the best dancer around."

     The sun was low.  But the immense heat of the day remained.  It was sticky and grimy and windy in the back of the pickup as it raced through the steel grey atmosphere of late afternoon.

     "I'm a living legend, you know.  But you know something else?  I've been on the road so long, I don't know whether I'm dead or alive."

     The poodle up front, after so many miles, calmed down considerably.  In fact, the mutt became oblivious to the presence of the two strangers sitting in the back of the truck, sat like a good dog, facing forward, wet tongue dangling out its happy mouth.

     "Something is happending here.  When you kissed my tummy, I knew for sure.  You're taking me to heaven, Eternity."

     The outlaw gritted his teeth.  "I guess I am."

     They climbed out of the pickup at a gas station in the one-motel town of Camp Verde.  Eternity hollered his thanks to the driver, who ignored him, was too busy cracking jokes with the gas-station attendant.

     The Road Princess and Eternity headed for the nearest, the only, convenience store in town.  Inside Eternity said, "What do you want to drink, Road Princess?"

     "Root beer."

     Eternity pulled a six-pack of ice-cold A&W Root Beer out of the cooler.  At the counter, while paying for the six-pack, he asked for directions to the nearest motel.

     "It's on the other side of town, partner," said the cashier.

     "Thanks," said Eternity.

     He and Ruthie walked like partners down the main drag of a little town easy to forget.

     They passed three wrinkled Indian men sitting on the curb.  Ruthie smiled at them.  So did Eternity.  The Indians smiled back.  One of them even winked.

     A tumbleweed rolled languidly across the street like an old western movie star.

     When they were half a block away from the only motel in town, Eternity said, "Are you ready, Road Princess?  Are you ready to step across the threshold into that other realm where all is peace and joy?"

     In Eternity's eyes ~ his dark penetrating eyes ~ Ruthie saw stars dim, planets freeze and crack to pieces and become belts of asteroids.  And way way back inside one of his eyeballs, she saw a new galaxy bloom.

     Ruthie smiled ~ courageously ~ and without a word, took Eternity's hand.  She and the longest-haired outlaw around, his dusty split-ends brushing at his boot heels, moseyed on down to the motel.  It was a small one ~ had only six rooms.

     In the office, Eternity handed the money over to the lady behind the desk.  She handed him a key.  "Room 5, dearie," she said.

     "Thanks," said Eternity.

     And he and Ruthie had a room ~ air conditioned.  It looked like an ex-kitchen.  A drainboard with a sink in the middle of it, ran across the entire length of one wall.  However, there was no stove or refrigerator.  In fact, there was barely enough room for the double bed.

     "What kind of room is this?" said Eternity.

     "It's like any other motel room.  Ripe for action," said Ruthie.

     "Think I'll go see if there's any ice around," said Eternity.  He left.

     Ruthie shed her grimy clothes, stepped into the bathroom, took a shower.  With a soapy washrag, she scrubbed away at her road-weary body.  She hadn't slept for days!  Everything seemed so distant, including the sensation of squeaky cleaness after she stepped out of the shower.  She actually felt as if she were some place else ~ like in limbo.  While drying off, she looked into the mirror.  "There I am," said Ruthie ~ doubtfully.  She combed her fingers through her long damp hair, wrapped the towel around herself, floated like an almost-ghost out of the bathroom.

     Somebody was knocking on the door.

     "Who is it?"


     He must had forgotten the key.  Yes, there it was on the drainboard next to his canteen and the six-pack of root beer.  Ruthie let him in.

     "The ice machine's out of order," he said as he entered.  He shut the door behind him, took off his soiled grey cap and threw it on the drainboard next to the other stuff.  "About time you got out of the damn shower."

     "Eat me, Big E," said Ruthie.  She smiled bravely.  The corner of her mouth quivered.  Her eyes glistened.  She loosened the towel around her and let it fall to the floor.

     Eternity looked her down and up ~ and swang through a swift mood change ~ from scratchy irritation to euphoric praise and adoration.  Huskily he whispered, "Your wish is my command, Road Princess."

     He knelt before her.

     Once again Eternity kissed Ruthie's tummy ~ with a nervous gulp.  Nothing popped (remember last time?).  So he buried his face in the tan plump softness.  Oh mercy!  Oh glory!

     With a genteel tug on his hair, Ruthie egged him further down, and down down went Eternity.  His deft kisses dallied along the dream domineering, dauntless, dauntless, downy region of dazzling, beguiling beauty that bedazzled for miles below Ruthie's delicious navel and onward he delved, not devilishly, but reverently, into the dainty, oh so dainty triangular jungle between Ruthie's dancer legs.


     Well, Eternity was Ruthie's love slave, bidden to do his duty, and so he did.

     The Road Princess of America arched her body forward, ground the lips of her pussy against the lips upon the ragged face of Eternity ~ a long long lingering kiss.

     Ruthie fell backwards upon the motel-room bed.  With her eyes closed and with her legs slow dancing ~ slowwwwwww dancing ~ around Eternity's head, inner thigh to ruddy cheek, ruddy cheek to inner thigh, Ruthie drifted away.

     With the tongue of Eternity reaching up inside of her, licking away at her interior landscape, cleansing her entire being of hurt and pain, Ruthie drifted away.

     With her restless and relentless fingers forging through Eternity's hair and tenderly fondling his ears, actually steering his head, guiding his true-blue talented tongue to the crux of the matter, Ruthie drifted away.

     Yes, layed back on the bed with her lids drawn and the long hot day forgotten, absorbed in mounting ecstasy, raised upon a pillar of it, Ruthie drifted away.

     And whoa!

     This pillar upon which she was raised was more than my puny discription.  It was reality expanded ~ the material world dwarfed, minimumized, made redundant by dream, by soul.

     And whoa, indeed!

     Behind closed eyelids, Ruthie discovered herself standing atop a pillar, alright, whose diameter was no more than that of a bar-room table-top.  Yes, like a dream, below her bare feet and around this pillar of stone swooped etheral clouds, and between the clouds, as they softly swooped by, she could see tiny Camp Verde out of which ascended this pillar of stone ~ and the tallest of tall pedestals upon which she stood, swayed in the wayward wind.

     Had she died?

     Not knowing what else to do, Ruthie stuck her thumb out by her hip for a ride.  And lo' and behold, out of the mist materialized a magic carpet ~ parked right there with nobody on it beside the top of her pedestal.  The stringy fringes along each end of the carpet (it looked Persian) fluttered in the wind.  Ruthie gingerly stepped on and sat down and onward drifted.

     Whoa, Ruthie, whoa!

     She drifted off into limitless wonder, past the dead moon, past spinning planets, beyond the Milky Way.  Distance ran away with itself.  And so did time ~ as eons passed by too.

     Ruthie was lost in space.

     Her slender arms grew skinnier and skinnier until her skin peeled off.  She became a noseless skeleton with the hair on her skull trailing behind her.  The carpet upon which she rode piece by piece disintegrated until it disappeared entirely.  Ruthie, whittled down by vast space, became a tiny speck of dust tumbling along, so all alone, drifting drifting beyond infinity.  Poking along in the black void, little piece of dust Ruthie felt the presence of a giant dinosaur soul edge up next to her.

     "Who's there?" she murmured.

     "A friend," it rumbled.

     "Good," said Ruthie.  "I could use a friend out here!"

     "Well, you have one.  In fact, the universe is full of ~ friends."

     They exchanged a few jokes and the giant dinosaur soul commenced to hum a searing, but melodious, lullaby that let Ruthie know everything was A-okay.  She began to feel nice and warm inside and together they onward drifted.  The big kind soul, wise as its dimensions were large, seemed to change Ruthie's direction and propel her forward ~ and it was gone.  Ruthie moaned, lonesome for its company.

     Time passed ~ big barrels full to the brim with eons of it rolled by, so to speak ~ as so did also numerous galaxies, nebulae, black holes ~ and Ruthie transformed from a speck of dust into a pebble, an asteroid, a spinning planet, and then a flaming star.  She soared through time, soared through space ~ transfiguring  and transfiguring again.  Until, when she beheld straight ahead a distant glow and knew what it was and grew so ecstatic, she became an orchestra of twanging pianos, then a flock of honking geese, then a Christmas tree lavishly decorated and blinking.  And just as she reached the gates of heaven, yes, the gates of heaven, she became a praying, smiling, laughing cannonball with wings and a sail and with a trail of BBs behind her ~ and she shattered the pearly gates asunder with her grand entrance into that other forever sought after realm.

     Ruthie was gone.  She was long gone ~ her perfect body with the tongue of Eternity up inside it, left far far behind in room 5 of the only motel in Camp Verde, Arizona.

     And they hadn't even cracked open the six-pack of root beer yet.


(Copyright 1990, 2010)