He was about to put it away when she said, “ Don’t me stop you.”
He lit it and took a toke, hesitated, then handed it to her.
She looked around, then took it and inhaled, paused for a second, took a second toke, then handed it back.
“Thanks,” she said, exhaling.
“Nice night,” Nathan said, looking up at the dark sky.
“Yeah,” Staci agreed.
She pointed up at a bright spot near the moon.
“That’s Venus annnd that is..” Her fingers moved “ Jupiter…”
She looked back at him.
“What?” she said, “ A girl from the sticks can’t know her astronomy?”
“Just impressive, “ Nathan said, “ that’s all. More than I know.”
“So,” Staci said, taking the joint back, “Almost done your sales trip?”
“Almost…How’d you know”
“Only reason most guys come out this way.,” she said, “ What you sell?”
“Yeah…Hotels, restaurants, motels like this…”
“My Dad worked in a kitchen.This one actually….Back when they had a restaurant still.”
She looked over at him.
“No offence,” she said, “ But this is kind of the ass end of any territory for sales and I’d of assumed that they’d have given this route to someone a bit….”
“Younger? Newer?” Nathan said, “ Yeah, you’d be right. I just started with this company. Been in sales a while though.”
“What you’d used to sell?”
“God,” she said, “ Now I’m intrigued.”
“Jesus,” she said, laughing, “Now THERE’S a dead industry.”
“Told you you’d laugh.”
“I’m sorry,” she said, holding a hand over her mouth, “ but you gotta admit…”
“Yeah, like you said…Twenty five years with Colliers and Clark. Salesman of the Year eleven times. Now there’s condos where the offices were. Dead as the Dodos”
“Mmm hmmm,” Nathan said, “ even this gig will be gone in a couple years; you’ll be able to order online completely. Msybe I can get a job at Walmart. Be one of those pathetic elderly greeters at the door.”
“I know how you feel,” Staci said, “The old man keeps talking about selling this place. Probably get bought out by Travel Lodge or Motel 8. Doubt THEY’D want to hire some dumb twenty year old with half a high school education.”
“Bummer,” Nathan said.
They both took another toke, Nathan popped off the ember and handed the roach to Staci.
“If you want some more later.”
She looked at him.
“Bar’s closed but you want something?”
“What you got?”
“Not as much as we used to, obviously, but I can probably find Bourbon or Rum and some coke.”
“Yeah, sounds good.”
Staci poured two long pours of Maker’s Mark into the glasses, then filled them with bar mix cola.
“We need to drink to something,” Nathan said.
“To….to the calm before the storm.”