Flumes Vol. 5: Issue 1, Summer 2020 | Page 26

God's Green Earth

By Oscar Rodriguez

Dad and I polished off two chili cheese dogs apiece—his with onions—then sucked down the last of our root beers and stepped out into the early evening air of the James Coney Island parking lot. As I climbed back into his 1972 Roadrunner, I assumed we were going to the movies or bowling like we usually did on our weekends together. But when I poked my head over the edge of the door to make sure, all I saw was trees.


“Yes, mijo.”

“Where are we going?”

“To church.”“At night?”

“Yes, sir.”

“But I wanted to go see that new one about all those little puppies.”

“Which one?”

“A Hundred and One Dalnations.”

“No, not tonight, mijo.” he said with a little smile.

“But there will be a movie.”

“At church? No way.”

“Yes way,” he said, turning his sky blue hot rod down a dark country road. “It’s supposed to be pretty good too. Lots of action!”

“Cool!” I said, thinking of that really long one they show on TV around Christmas, where the old man with the white beard and snake-cane parts the sea to help his people escape that swarthy, brooding pharaoh.

* * *

“Why’d we park on the grass, Dad?”

“Because they don’t have enough parking spaces for all these cars.”

There were about six or seven other cars and trucks parked along a gravel road lit only by a thick blanket of stars and a half-moon.

“Oh. But where’s the church?” I asked as we walked by a silver mailbox attached to a black metal post at the foot of the long driveway lined by tall trees with needles for leaves.

“Right past those pines.”

“You said we were going to a church.”

“I did.”

“But that’s a house,” I said, all the more perplexed by the four happy gringos shaking hands on the well-lit, covered porch of the large wooden cabin at the far end of a circular driveway.

“I know.”