DRIVING MISS LENA TART - nancy stebbins

Our baby blue convertible is number forty-nine in the holiday parade. I'm chauffeuring the famous country and western singer, Miss Lena Tart, who keeps saying, “Well, ain’t that something,” as if she hadn’t grown up here herself. Maybe things look different through famous eyes. On the sidelines, children toss sparkly red and green confetti. There are things I need to say to Miss Tart; I want to congratulate her for escaping this redneck town. I want to ask her how she did it. In front of us, Civil War reenactors ride swayback horses. Behind us, on the Santa float, Christmas elves are dirty dancing to "Blue Christmas." I do believe they’re drunk. Miss Tart swivels her head to watch them. My ex-husband is the third elf from the left. He’s always ruining things, though I must admit he has good rhythm. He waves at Miss Tart and blows her a kiss. “Well, ain’t that something,” she says. A gust of window blows confetti back into the children's faces and makes them cry, and I think maybe my ex is waving at me, too. I hope Miss Tart has some good advice.

Nancy Stebbins


Sixty Stories

Donald Barthelme