Blue Ruin had never seen a day like this.
Axe’s True Blue Cafe & Barber Shoppe was closed.
There was nothing to eat.
Not even coffee to drink.
And Albino Alice, the barber, was sitting in the big barber chair with one leg hooked over the arm.
She isn’t allowed to cut hair until the pandemic is over.
“I don’t understand why we gotta close,” Axe said as he chewed on a toothpick.
“There ain’t 50 people in this town,” he said. “And ain’t never been more’n 10 people in this place at any one time.”
“Well,” Alice said, “you all are all over 60. You an endangered species or sumpin’. We gotta keep you alive.”
Everybody was sitting at least 10 feet away from each other around the room.
“We gotta have a place to sit and talk,” Bubba said.
“Mr. Trump gonna save us,” Possum said. “He gonna send us some money to get us through this.”
“I’ll believe it when I spend it,” Alice said. “I hear them Mexicans is gonna use that wall to keep us out if this keeps up.”
“I hear it’s gonna be at least $1,000,” Possum said.
“I’m gonna lose more’n that,” Axe said. “But it would certainly be nice to have. But Possum ain’t you opposed to guvmint hand-outs? Ain’t that socialism?”
“If he can give it to the airlines, the oil companies and all them fat cats, won’t hurt nuthin’ to give us a little taste,” Possum said.
“I’m glad Fox finally decided this thing is real,” Bubba said. “Now, Possum is takin’ it seriously.”
“Well, there ain’t none of that beer flu here,” Possum said. “But I reckon you can’t get too careful.”
“And you’re still gettin’ your Socialist Security check on time,” Alice said.
“Hey, that ain’t socialism,” he said. “I paid into that thing fer 40 long years. That there’s my money.”
“I wish I had me a cuppa coffee,” Bubba said. “And I’d sure like some ham and eggs too.”
“Well, till this thing is over, you gonna have to go home and talk yer wife into cookin’ you some,” Axe said.
“Or cook it yer own dang self,” Alice said.
“Dang coronavirus,” Possum said. “I’m too dang depressed to even argue today. I want this to be over with.”
“We’ll laugh about it someday,” Axe said. “At least, I hope we will.”
Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301 email@example.com