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[3 | Road Trip] Download or Read PDF
James decides to take a long route from Texas to Wisconsin so he can weave through small towns. Along the way, he plans to visit restaurants in search of rare cuisine. He also wants to experience the mysterious ambiance of small-town cultures. To him, the unfamiliar people are reminiscent of tribes in a rainforest; no one has ever seen. The first stop is near Depew, Oklahoma—population 479, where James finds a local restaurant that doesn’t serve customers.
Farm & Dairy
“Now, some people think that-der fine food is only found in them bigger cities. But, I reckon they ain’t got the integrity and devotion, us small folks gots.” “No, sir. I would agree with that. Some of the finest foods I’ve had the pleasure of eating myself were from small towns—places where people hold up tradition and keep life simple. You see, that’s why I am detouring on my way back to the dairy state. Trying to taste the land, as I go.” “Wisc-ahhhhh-sen, ey.” “Yes, sir.” “Well, they may be called the Dairy state, but I don’t know if that means they have the best dairy.” “Probably not. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone from Wisconsin eat anything other than a big old chunk of cheddar.” “Ha! Well, what can I do for ya, son? We don’t serve up food on-demand here. You gots to have reservations, and they is sold out, son. Besides, dinner won’t be ready until later on. There are some fine diners throughout the state. Shoot, I do have some scraps leftover from some wheel cheese and some wild legumes we foraged. Why don’t you take yourself a seat on over there in that rocking chair by the window. I’ll fix ya up a little sampler platter.” “Yeah? That’d be great. Thank you so much.” “Why don’t ya have yer-self a seat out der on the porch, and I’ll get ya when it’s ready.” “Sure, and thanks again.”
James contemplates life in a small town to life in the city while he waits. The view outside is pleasant and relaxing while he is rocking back and forth to the soothing country sounds of trees swaying in the wind. (‘Are you sure you wanna go back to the hell hole you came from? This here country live-in seems a lot nicer to me.’ ‘Yah. Maybe.’)
“Here you are, son. Fresh from the fields and fresh from the teat. You gots here a couple wild peanut legumes and some greens my daughter Pansie picked just this morning. Finished off topped with mozzarella the Mrs. also made this morning. It isn’t much but ought be a nice Oklahoma treat. You should consider staying the night. We have a guest bed, and I always have an extra spot or two at the reservation table for friends and family. I’d love for you to meet my daughter Pansie. I think the two of ya would get along just dandy.” “That’s very nice of you to offer, sir.” “Call me, Pat.” “Alright, Pat.” “I didn’t get your name, son.” “Most people call me James.” “Pleasure to meet you there, James” “I’ll tell the Mrs. to keep a seat cleared for ya.”
James tried to reiterate that he would not be staying, but the man had all but vanished before he could respond.
[3.1 | Pansie]
“That sure is a fancy car you got out there. My name is Pansella. My father tells me you are from the big city.” “Oh, hi there, Pansella. I wouldn’t say that I am from a big city, just passed through Dallas – for eight years – for some strange reasoning, I don’t understand. Tell your dad I said thanks for the dish here; it was delicious.” “Did you like the greens? I picked them myself.”
Before James realizes what is happening, the young girl pushes a chair up so close to his that the rocker’s base locked underneath, cornering him where he sits.
She thrusts a plate into his lap in succession with removing the first plate. A tactic clearly meant to keep him put. She sets the finished dish aside and says, “Here, I brought you a piece of elderberry pie. It is really delicious. Me and mama made it up last night.” “Oh, I think I am alright.” “You have to try it. Here let me show you.”
Pansie sticks her finger on the plate in James’s lap and applies pressure to it while she dabs a bit of the purple syrup on her finger. She then sticks the finger in her mouth and says, “See. It’s delicious, and it is so sweet and sticky.”
The whole charade is giving James the heebie-jeebies accompanied by a looming erection. (Is this girl really doing this right now? How old is she anyway?)
“Here, sweety. Let me help you.” She lifts the plate up off his lap, playfully replacing it with herself—tucking her backend right up against his groin. She holds the plate with one hand, dipping her finger back in the sauce with the other. She puts her finger right up to James’s lips without his consent. “Try it; you will love it, I promise. It is so juicy.”
James cannot help himself; he lets her slip the tip of her finger into his mouth, and he tastes the sauce. He attempts to say something, but she sticks her finger deeper inside when he opens his mouth. She then rubs it all along his teeth and gums as if she were trying to brush them. It seems awkward at first, but then he finds himself enjoying the exploratory mission of her finger. When she pulls it out, she giggles and says, “Oh my.” She then picks up the fork and proceeds to feed James the pie one bite at-a-time while telling him about herself.
(Oh, God. Is this really happening?) James takes another bite, and then he gently grabs her arms and puts them down to her side. “Honey, are you even eighteen?” “Why no darling, I am sixteen, but that is totally okay. In Oklahoma, you are an adult when you are sixteen. Well, not a legal adult, I guess. But I can totally have sex legally. It’s not a crime for sex at sixteen, is what I am saying.” “Seriously?” “Yep. I’m a virgin too. I just turned sixteen last week. My dad told me to come meet you. He said you looked like your soul has been in a lot of pain for a long time and that maybe I was the cure or your kismet or something. Why? Don’t you like me? Am I too young? I thought men want a younger woman?” “Oh honey, you are something special, believe me.” “Well, then you will be at dinner tonight, right?”
James again tries to explain he cannot stay, but the girl starts kissing him before he could say a word. It has been years since he has smelt female scents so close and tasted the essence of a young lady. The sensation leaves him speechless and laced with goosebumps. A whisper comes into his ear, “By the way, I won’t be wearing any panties tonight. Daddy will make sure we sit next to each other.” “I’ll see you tonight, sweety. Bye-bye for now.” Pansie hops off, still holding the plate of partially eaten pie. James watches her dash and skip away with childlike grace—wearing what looks like an Edwardian dress.
(‘Alright, man. What the fuck was that all about?’ ‘I don’t know, but did you see her legs?’ ‘I saw everything. Are you joking? Is it really legal to have sex with a sixteen-year-old in Oklahoma?’)
James pulls his phone out to do some research:
“Siri- What is the age of consent in Oklahoma?”
16 years old
The phrase “age of consent” refers to the age when a person is mature enough to agree to sexual intercourse. The federal and Oklahoma age of consent is currently 16 years old.
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A Quick Guide to Age of Consent Laws in Oklahoma – Tracy L …
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Age of Consent & Statutory Rape in Oklahoma | Romeo The legal age of consent in the state of Oklahoma is 16 years old. But there’s more to understanding the law than this… Oklahoma is one of many states in the …
(‘Well, I’ll be. How does that sound to you?’ ‘I don’t know, man.’ ‘When ya reckon a tight lil sixteen-year-old virgin piece of ass like that’s gonna fall into your lap again? I mean, like literally and figuratively.’ ‘As tempting as it sounds, sleeping with a girl like that is like smoking crack or doing heroin. The high you are after comes with severe consequences, whether legal or not.’ ‘We gotta get outta here – before we get into trouble.’ ‘I agree.’)
James pushes himself up out of the rocking chair to head toward his car, parked on the gravel lot when he is abruptly stopped. “Now hold on there, cowboy, my little girl, tells me you said you’d like a seat next to her tonight at dinner.” James is speechless, trying to speak. “Uhh-Uhhhh.”
Mild guilt is present in James’s demeanor as he is reminded of the depleting stiffness in his pants. He is scared of what Pansie’s father is to say next. James tries to tell him he wasn’t planning to stay, but before he can speak. Pat belts out, “That is great to hear! I knew the two of ya would hit it off. Come on over here, son, let me fix you a drink. You a Gin or Whiskey man today? I bet you feel like Gin—Tanqueray. Yes, and straight or with soda—soda, it’s early in the day, you say? Yes, come on over here, son, let me fix you a Gin, Tanqueray.” Pat puts his arm around James’ shoulders and escorts him to the bar, against his will, but James doesn’t resist so to prevent a struggle.
(‘Something’s amiss here.’ ‘I know, man.’ ‘How the hell does this guy know my drink?’)
“No sir, no thank you. I am on the wagon here as of late. Got work to do.” “Oh, never mind that, J.F., you deserve to take a break. Here, let me pour you a glass. Have a seat. Relax. Gin’s your drink right—Tanqueray. With club soda—on ice. Sit down, let me pour you a glass.” “Uhhh, Ummm—uh” “You stress too much, J.F. Here, let me pour you a glass. You know my daughter, Pansie, she is a virgin.” “Huh. What did you say?” “A virgin, I said. You ain’t hard of hearin, is ya? Her maidenhead ain’t ripped yet. Bet you is lookin forward to layin with her for the first time. Special girl that Pansie.” “I think I should get going, sir.” “Nonsense, let me pour you a drink. Gin, that’s your drink, right. Take a seat, relax, J.F. You have nothing to worry about. We’ve been waiting for you.” (Waiting for me?)
“Oooohhhhh My, this must be the strapping lad Pansie just can’t stop talking about.” “J.F. This here is the Misses” “Why, hey there, handsome. You can just start calling me mom if you like. We ben waitin for you along time.” “I’d say about sixteen years, wouldn’t you?” “Why yes, ever since pat first found his way to me. Yes, I believe so. Bout sixteen years.” “I think you have the wrong person. I really should get going.”
James tries to stand up, and Pat’s wife pushes him down after resting her hands on his shoulders. She gently massages him from behind, and Pat says, “Nonsense, J.F. let me pour you a drink. Gins your drink, right? Tanqueray? Soda? Have a seat. Relax.”
Every time he says the name Tanqueray, James’ mouth waters a little, and he begins to fantasize about that first sip coating the lining of his stomach. Then Pat’s wife says, “Let me look at you, sweety. We gotta clean you up before dinner. Ooopsie, and here is a little elderberry stuck on your cheek. Not a bad look. But, it ain’t gonna fly with elders round here. Have a drink, sweety, Gin, isn’t it? Relax and have a seat.” “I am already sitting?” James confusedly said in a soft tone.
James pushes himself off the barstool, breaking the lady’s grip, knocking it on the ground. Pat and the Mrs. try to block him from heading to the door but aren’t fast enough. James walks quickly, feeling freaked out. He doesn’t look back just keeps walking, hoping they are not following him. When his foot hits the gravel lot, he bolts to the car while fumbling for his keys in his pocket. He then remembers he left them in the drink console. He rushes around the car, opens the door, and jumps in, praying that his keys are still there, and they are. He hits the push to start button and backs up out of the parking lot, spitting up gravel on the side of the barn. He looks to the door to see Pat and the Mrs. standing in it, stuck at the threshold, as if they cannot leave the building. Before James exits the driveway, he stops to think if he was just overexaggerating. Maybe their behavior is the simple conduct of friendly and welcoming people.
During his ponder, he notices Pansie is standing next to a tree facing the trunk of it. She is doing something to it. (What is she doing over there; it looks like she is hugging the tree. No-no, she is tying a ribbon around it. That is weird. Looks like an apricot tree or some type of small fruit tree—maybe persimmon.)
While James studies her actions, she turns around and sees him in his car. James instantly recognizes her facial expression, one of sadness and despair. She stands barefoot, looking at him, and takes a few steps forward towards him. She isn’t wearing the same dress she had on earlier, now she is wearing a pink knee-high skirt with an untucked blouse. She watches James as James watches her. She begins to slowly unbutton her shirt. The actions are hypnotic to James; he cannot break the trance she is putting in him. She takes her time popping one button at-a-time out, first exposing her shoulders, then her cleavage, and finally, the blouse slips off her body and floats to the grass. Her small nipples stiffen quickly from the wind, and their color match her skirt.
James contemplates taking her on the grass where she is. She stands with her arms at her side, still, like a doll in a department store. She isn’t looking at James anymore—she is just staring into empty space as if she knows James is there, but she cannot see him.
(‘This is your last chance to get with that young piece of ass man. You sure you want to add missing this to the anti-bucket list?’ ‘Either way, you slice it, it’s gonna end in regret. I don’t particularly feel like spending the rest of my life on this farm raising kids with a girl that would likely resent me for taking her youth from her.’ ‘Alright then, don’t come whining to me when you’re praying for love again, and all you have is your hand.’ ‘You know I only feel that way when I am drinking. It just seems being married would be easier than having hangovers, but when we sober up, we prefer being alone. You know that.’ ‘Yeah, maybe. Someday she might find us, though.’ ‘She is out there. She has to be.’ ‘Well – maybe it’s her then.’)
A few minutes go by while James sits in his car. He is stopped at the edge of the parking lot, admiring the elegance of her half naked body. He wonders if she is still looking at him or not. It seems as though she was looking right at him, but then it was as if he disappeared, and she can no longer see him. He continues watching her, and he sees the slightest sparkles in her eyes as they well up with tears. Pansie tilts her head down with sadness and turns around. She then ambles off into the meadows, leaving her blouse resting in the grass next to the yellow ribboned tree.