Chemo to Go

“She was thirsty on a cellular level and the endless stream of drinks I served her never seemed to touch it.”

BY SANDEE WOODS | THE NEW TERRITORY ISSUE 01
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“Chemo to Go” by Sandee Woods. Art by Bryan Haynes.

Candy had a parched look and a leanness that suggested virus rather than workout regimen. Brittle hair and flaky skin; she was thirsty on a cellular level and the endless stream of drinks I served her never seemed to touch it.

Jacky’s Bar and Girl; calling it a “dive” seems dishonest in that it implies some sort of gritty ambience.  In fact, it was just another slot in a crappy strip-mall with a mood more desperate than seedy. The interior was a collage of decorating attempts; layers of cheap paint, bar signs and wall paper border.  The weekly lunch crowd consisted of anybody willing to sacrifice quality food for cheap drinks, and weeknights it was mostly dart leaguers. Weekends it was a gay bar, women specifically; homely, squat, economically depressed women. There would be occasional infusions of new blood: swingers looking for a third, college students and philanderers of every age and color. But mostly it was just a tee shirt and cargo shorts crowd of gals. Candy and her girlfriend Gina fell into all three categories of Jacky’s customers; coming for lunch and dinner at least three times a week and rarely missing a weekend.

Physically, Candy and Gina had little in common beyond double X chromosomes. Candy was tall with ill-fitting dentures and thick glasses that magnified her rheumy eyes. She was closing in on forty which in her case looked more like “the new” sixty. Gina had dark hair and eyes, and was puffy without being fat.  Her thick arms protruded from the cut off sleeves of her work shirts which she wore untucked with long shorts, suede work boots and a ball cap turned backwards. On weekends and special occasions she opted for a cowboy hat and boots.


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ISSUE 01 MADE POSSIBLE BY OUR SPONSORS

Native Health News Alliance  Missouri Wildflowers Nursery The Red Earth MFA at Oklahoma City University

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