I was walking to a friend’s house one evening along one of the few roads that jam here every Friday as people leave town, when a woman leaning out of a pickup truck stopped at the light and saw me and hollered, Where’s the closest bar or hotel? I turned and smiled, thinking she’d seen me walking and thought I looked tired and just wanted to remind me it’s the weekend, baby, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. She was middle-aged and overweight and I could see she was struggling to hold herself up and out the window, which might explain her impatience in having to repeat the question, but the closer I got to the truck the more clearly I saw the panic in her eyes, that there was no lightheartedness in her asking, that this was not some end-of-the-work-week banter quipped one tired soul to another but the voice of someone with need deeper than thirst or sleep. Taste: unlimited. The closest bar. The closest hotel.

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Jad Adkins is a recent graduate of Georgia College’s MFA program. His essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Fourth Genre, The Pinch, South Loop Review, Sonora Review, Jelly Bucket, and elsewhere. He is currently the nonfiction editor of Pinball.

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