Pickles Gap

Dave left his downtown Fort Worth loft at 6am for the seven hour drive to Pickles Gap, Arkansas where his 84 year old father, Bruce lived on the old home place. Bruce had steadfastly refused to be moved into a nursing home in Conway. “I’ve lived in this house for 57 years dammit. Can’t nobody make me leave now or never.”

The sky was overcast but no rain fell – perfect driving conditions – no glaring sun to blind him through the windshield of his brand new Toyota Tundra pick-up. Lately Dave dreaded the drive home to Pickles Gap, and rarely told people the truth when asked where he was from. Dave was embarrassed by the name of his home town, and ashamed of his poor upbringing and uneducated family. His visits had grown fewer and farther between the last few years. Ever since mom passed, we’ve all drifted to the far corners of the world, Dave thought as he exited onto I-30 East. Even the bopsie twins don’t visit these days.”

Dave’s mind drifted to his younger sisters, Linda and Bonnie (the twins, with names that mean ‘beautiful’ but whose faces are ‘handsome at best’). They are both busy raising families of their own in California and Georgia respectively. “Mom was the glue that held us all together,” Dave remembers hearing Bonnie cry through muffled tears at the burial site almost two years ago.  Linda, the older “beauty” by 3 minutes replied stoically; “We’re family and families stick together no matter what. Dad needs us now more than ever.” She hasn’t been back to Pickles Gap since the day we put momma in the ground, Dave thought bitterly. Being the oldest, and the only male sibling, really sucks sometimes. Continue reading