Who You Talking To, Zone?
by Bob Tippee
I seen you now, but you still ain't talking. I seen you ducking around the corner of the Blood Bank when you didn't think nobody was watching. How come you don't talk no more?
â€”Zone, who's that you're talking to down there?
â€”Morning, Miss Buttercup.
â€”Who you calling 'Miss Buttercup'?
Looking up over slanting concrete with morning sunlight glittering below shadows at the bottom of the bridge, not seeing nothing. Cars and trucks rumbling over fast up there where a man
can't see. Too early for Buttercup to be up. Usually a man can scoot himself past the Third Street underpass and not have her hollering down at him.
â€”Don't know your real name. Can't see you nohow.
â€”It's on account of I don't want you knowing my name or seeing me neither one.
â€”Yes, ma'am. I'll be moving along now.
â€”Well you better be moving your butt over to check on Mouthwash. I hear he had himself an accident.
â€”Yes, ma'am. I'll check on Mouthwash.
In a hurry, a man ought to be checking Mouthwash and getting away from a woman living under a bridge not wanting nobody to see her.
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"Who You Talking To, Zone?" is roughly 5000 words.
Bob Tippee writes from Houston, Texas, where he is a magazine editor. Born in St. Louis, he has a bachelor's degree from the University of Tulsa.