How Tina Came to Work at Cecil’s Bar

Readers: I’m going to write another chapter to the little short story I posted last week. Here’s the opening paragraphs . . . what do you think?

The short answer was it paid better than McDonalds. And she could smoke on the job. And the hours were better, though that one wasn’t as clear cut. But of course, like everything in Tina Broussard’s life, there was a long version of the story that a lot of people she met weren’t ready for. Or at least didn’t care enough about to ask. 

Cecil’s Bar had a certain reputation, not just in town but throughout the region of Acadiana that was basically north of I-10 and south of, say, Ville Platte. Within the bounds of that relatively small part of the Cajun Prairie, Cecil’s was well known as the place to get into a certain kind of trouble. 

That said, in the six months she worked there, Tina had come to see it in the light of a neon bar sign that was probably more subtle than most people appreciated. It was a rough place, sure. And the bar had its own set of rules, a kind of unspoken outlow code. That was also true. But it was more than just a place for fights in the parking lot and a certain kind of female. 

The fat dude who ran the joint, son of the original Cecil, was a guy that, when his daddy was still alive, had been known as “Lil C”, but now went by Teet-C. Supposedly that moniker had originally been an ironic thing, “teetsie” as in the fly. As in small. Which Teet-C definitely was not. 

Tina guessed he had started dressing in the quasi hip hop style he now sported probably around the time he took the “lil’” out of his name. The way Teet-C talked, his old man was one of those raw, hardcore country kind of men from the last generation–one of the ones that walked around in steel toed boots and a can of Skoal in his back pocket. Teet-C never really divulged anything, despite all the hints she dropped to get him to talk about it, but Tina’s theory was that when his old man finally died and left the bar to him, Cecil felt free to reinvent himself. 

Which she could appreciate, because that’s exactly what she had done. Except in her case it was her mom’s passing that seemed to . . . . what? Liberate her? She wasn’t sure that was exactly the right word. It wasn’t like she had shined in the three years since Ms. Lola had been buried beneath an oak tree in the Mowata cemetery, about halfway between Eunice and Crowley. No, far from it. Actually, she’d done a pretty good job of digging herself into a hole . . . but she did have a plan to get free. 

As her old man would say, “it’s an idea . . . it may not be a good idea, but it’s an idea.” She would just have to wait and see how it all turned out. 

Published by New Bayou Books

JR Reed started New Bayou Books to spark a revolution in Louisiana literature. The goal of the company is simple: to great writers out of the shadows to carry on the Louisiana literary tradition.

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