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Chester Avenue, Oildale, CA

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Fin lives in California's Central Valley and is interested in social issues and creative writing.

The entrance to Oildale, CA


Chester Avenue

I pull up past the car wash talkers

holding up signs and a photograph of a child.

Two of them are shaking rags in circles

as if they are trying to defy the laws of gravity

and another

a young female

struggles to break the sound barrier

with her cacophony of

donations donations donations.

I feel the change jingle in my pocket as I

park in front of the mobile sign shop

next to the glass door and

walled building

with white blinds


I walk into the back and talk to the woman

who reminds me of the pictures of

Appalachian folks I saw in grammar school

when i lived on the east coast

of the United States

and know that although she probably

never saw the eastern mountain ranges

she is of the same breed.

As well as the other denizens in

the darkly lit room

most sitting in front of computer terminals

none of them typing.

She slips me a piece of paper and gives me a

look i know well

and I glance around for a seat in the dark room

a few sounds like a video arcade

behind me.

Can you smoke in here

someone asks

NO says the woman who was behind the counter

and is now standing

in the middle of the room

doing her rounds

and then she pauses

says quietly again


Two women are sitting in the same chair

someone brings a dog in

and it sniffs the floor

walks under the rolling chairs


another voice speaks


to no one in particular

hes a cop.

I think he's a cop.

© 2019 Finn