Out on the Drag

by Giuseppe Taurino

That afternoon, after I got laid off, I went down to Dirty Martin’s for a couple of beers and a greasy burger. As I waited for my food, an old man wheeling an oxygen tank waddled toward the counter. He bumped his way past tables, sat a few stools down from mine, and ordered a Budweiser. We made eye contact and I nodded politely. The oxygen tank pumped along like a club song, while the tube in his nostrils rose and fell above his landing strip mustache; short bursts of air popped through his mouth. The aluminum tank stood beside him like an obedient dog, and I wondered what it felt like to wheel your life around, handle and all, to walk about knowing that your next breath was literally in your own hands.

6S

Giuseppe Taurino is a guy living in Austin, with an MFA in Creative Writing and a job in education.