Beautiful woman in silhouette drinking a glass of whiskey

Photo by samane mohammadi

Numbed and on edge after surviving the drive through a night of torrential rain, with lightning piercing through the dark like a strobe light in a throbbing dance club, Jarette had arrived in Middlegate, Nevada. A speck in the center of nowhere.

My mind feels like mold, but my senses are taut and alert. I’m calm and anxious at the same time. Wired, fried, and so tired I can’t feel my body.

He was parked in a dirt parking lot and sitting on an old, tin bench outside the Middlegate Station. A bar that resembled an Old West tavern and flophouse.

When a pick-up truck pulled into view, his nerves were like hair on a wet alley cat and he barely moved. The truck was green and sun-bleached with rust clinging to its underbelly like barnacles, and piloting the vehicle was a woman. Her expression was hard in the bright morning light.

She climbed out and moved toward Jarette and the front door. “Early riser or just up all night?” she asked with a combination of coo and growl, then moved her curves up onto the porch where Jarette sat.

“A little bit of both,” he replied.

“Well, it’s Nevada, so we drink in the morning here. We have cocktails and eggs.”

Then, she put a key in the door, wiggled it, and pried the door open saying, “Come on in, Rough Rider. You look like a worn-out old shirt that’s been in the rain too long.”


Inside the bar, it was dark, even when the woman turned the lights on. Dollar bills lined the ceiling, tacked there by a thousand drunks. A pool table sat empty in a side room, its blue-green surface beckoning like a calm sea. The bar itself was long but not especially old, its false wood shining only in the places that didn’t have stains from years of spilled drinks and burn marks.

Jarette took a seat on one of the bar stools, and she moved past him and behind the bar. As she went, she smelled of coconut, lime, and cigarettes. It was a strong potion that early in the morning, but it smelled better than the stale beer wafting from under Jarette’s feet.

A small kitchen lit up in a doorway to the right of the bar, and then the woman appeared with a small rack of glasses.

She asked, “So, what am I pouring you, Honey?”

He answered, “I promised myself I’d lay off the booze for a little while, but last night rattled my cage. I nearly died out there driving through that storm. How about an Irish coffee? Go heavy on the whipped cream…and the whiskey.”

Hand with tattoos on the arm holding a glass of whiskey

Photo by Ethan Rougon

Old bar room filled with Americana art and trinkets

Photo by Theme Photos


Wild, beautiful pirate-looking woman holding a bottle in a dark room

Photo by Sexto Abismo | Ginebra Surrealista


Continue reading by clicking here for Part 7 of Tedium: Delilah’s Confession.


If you missed any part of my Tedium series, click any of these links below:

Part 1: Waiting for the Cat in the Hat to Show Up

Part 2: A Plastic Soldier After an Imaginary War

Part 3: The Alamo Inn

Part 4: The Ghost of Bertha and the Elephant Girl

Part 5: Rock ‘n’ Roll Meltdown