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.


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