So anyway, after the guy asked me if engaging in the five-knuckle shuffle was among my habits and I pleaded road-weariness in response, he shut up for a few minutes. It didn’t matter; I was pretty sure what was coming (so to speak). I slouched against the door and feigned sleep, though, of course, I kept one eye opened just so. We were probably halfway to Roanoke before the guy started working at his zipper. Evidently he either hadn’t finished the job back at Smart View or had a very healthy sexual appetite. He had the courtesy to ask me, “Mind if I do?” in much the same way others might have inquired whether I cared if they lit up. In fact, despite my distaste for cigarette smoke, I would have preferred his smoking a whole carton of unfiltered Camels and blowing huge toxic clouds in my face to his whacking away at his crotch as we tooled along (so to speak), but I didn’t have options to select from. I decided that had I known this was coming (so to speak) while exiting the bathroom back at Smart View I would have stolen his ride (though I would have been careful to somehow drive it without any part of me touching the upholstery, the gearshift, or the steering wheel) and pushed it off a cliff, as many were available and I’d always wanted to see a car explode in person.
Keeping my eyes averted was not difficult.
But as it happened, I was spared the passive ignominy of his freaky ablutions by an unforeseen idiosyncrasy in his psychosexual constitution. “I can’t do this in the light,” he complained out of the blue. “It burns!”
I chanced a look straight ahead. “Maybe you should have that checked out.”
“No!” he complained. “Every time I take it out in the light it burns!” and that was the end of his exhibitionism for the day. A few minutes later a wad of tissues went out the window.
When we got to Roanoke I had him leave me an Exxon station, for obvious reasons not wanting him to see where my cousin lived (or, for that matter, for my cousin and his family to see the guy). I did not offer him any gas money. He told me he was glad I had spent the afternoon with him (this was overstating the case). Then he drove off. I expected him to be polite and not aggressive in the least to the end, and he was.
I imagine he’s had more than a few similar experiences in his life and has probably had his ass kicked on a number of occasions, but I can’t say I’ve ever had anything like that happen to me and don’t expect to again.