The Fix

Buffalo, Wyoming

tableaux'd by: and

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A solid door in an understated blank wall serves as the pedestrian entrance. Solid doors into businesses, being rare, conceal only one of two possibilities: terrors or treasures. The coffee lobe of The Fix’s trinary business model appears to be focused on drive-up customers. Recalling the miserable tableau (Fox News on a battery powered television, a partially complete jigsaw puzzle of a burro wearing a straw hat, a booger-encrusted geezer fumbling open pre-cellophaned peanut butter bagels) they trod into in a Green River, WY, drive-up the previous year [Java Connection — ed.], our thirsty devils are right to be hesitant about entering. Two lot lizards on a bench outside razz them, “What are ye waiting for? There’s coffee in there; you can trust us!”

Euskadi Über Alles

Euskadi Über Alles

The small wood-paneled space they enter is crammed with trinkets, homegoods, and textiles for sale all emblazoned with the Basque cross.

Thos: “Dang! What up with all the Basque stuff?”
Barista: “Everyone in this town is Basque.”

While the barista prepares two Americanos (this laundromat doesn’t serve drip, kabroi!), the tableauxists take turns photographing every surface of the espresso shop, laundry mat [sic], and Basque gift shop. A couple of shots are taken on the sly of what seems to be the proprietrix and her man, who is wearing a color-blocked and starched Western shirt. “Kix Brooks there doesn’t look Basque,” JHT whispers. Though a bit more of a Frankenstein’s monster of a shop than CT would normally document, having missed out on the erotic coffee shop in the lunar barrens of eastern Washington, it was agreed that The Fix would serve as the voyage’s odd duck.

They scamper back across the endless asphalt, dodging motor-driven trikes and Rocky Mountain doubles. No surface is safe from vehicular traffic.

The Fix

Laundry Mat [sic]

Thos: “Do you think that barista was flirting with me?”
JHT: “No.”
Thos: “I hope she wasn’t offended by my asking about a Basque shoppe in Wyoming.”
JHT: “It seemed like an appropriate query.”

A pair of hogs roll by, cracking their throttles. Thos takes time in between sorties to consider the cultural context of the Basque in Wyoming via the Western picture shows of his boyhood. “I remember this movie about Basques coming to the States and hanging out with the pioneers. I think it was Seven Brides for Seven Brothers [it was Thunder In The Sun –ed.]. There was an exchange like: ‘You Basques never fought Indians!’ ‘No, Indians never fought the Basque!’ Then the Basque start somersaulting off boulders whilst firing muskets into the chests of Indians. American Indians. They fought like bosses in the mountains because they grew up in the Pyrennes.”
A dually pulling a trailer with a pristine Road King bears down on them.
“That happened near here?” JHT inquires.
“Well, the landscape around here that isn’t paved looks like all westerns I watched as a boy, so, yes, the Basque live here,” Thos waves towards the Big Horn Mountains standing over the Family Dollar.

The Fix

[sic]

Back at the Crossroads Inn parking lot, a family mills around another truck, trailer, and touring bike combo. The father hunches over the back wheel of the bike. Distracted at a crucial moment when he steals a glance at his teenage daughter’s panties showing through inappropriately sheer hot pants as she bends over to deposit canned drinks into a foam ice chest, he overinflates the rear tire of his bike, causing it to explode. Five minutes later a wrecker has arrived.

The Fix

Construction Documents

On I-90 east, the Sturgis traffic thickens. A pod of Christian bikers passes JHT’s truck very slowly, perhaps 77 to its 75mph, cuts it off, then proceeds to split lanes for fifteen minutes as it creeps down the highway. Shortly thereafter CT leaves the interstate for US-14 towards Devil’s Tower. They ditch the shittier truck at a scenic overlook to continue towards the Tower in the chase vehicle. A motorcycle cruises through blasting Pan-flute music. Deeper into the Devil’s Tower park the Sturgis crowd becomes nigh-impenetrable.

Judging the crowd to be far too fat to attempt the 2.1 mile Red Beds Trail our young heroes step off the densely populated path and continue along the longer outer loop. The sound of snake rattles is soon proven to be clicking insect wings after far too detailed an investigation. As the two hike around the base of the formation, somersault off boulders, and mug for each other’s photos, Thos explains the idea of 1%ers in biker culture. A box labeled ‘DANGER SNAKES’ is perched in the main boulder field where Richard Dreyfuss got down with the mom from A Christmas Story. They hurry back to the truck after spotting a 1%er from the Sons of Silence cooling it in the shade near the misting tent. Thos mails a postcard from the Devil’s Tower post office.

Back at the scenic overlook a man is urinating behind the ditched truck. Thos muses that the sidewall facing away from the road has served as an impromptu biker urinal for the past two hours, flooding the gully with piss. Fists are raised, Caught Somewhere in Time is blasted, and CT turns eastward again. As the truck struggles to climb the Black Hills, a growing crowd of motorcycles trails behind them; the lead biker gestures the cracking of a whip, symbolically mushing the tableauxmobile forward and deeper into rally territory.

The Fix

“This means something.”

Having safely passed Sturgis, Thos presents a draft of his motorcyclist classification at a Flying J east of Rapid City:

  • 99% pussies
    1. fat pussies
    2. pussies on trikes
    3. Hondas
    4. network tech support
    5. Louis CK
    6. ‘too many carbs in this breakfast!’
    7. pussies hauling bikes on trailers
    8. nylon or goretex jackets
  • Sons of Silence seem like legit dudes. A+

Completing a day of mercifully level and straight highway, CT stops for the night in Mitchell, SD. After inspecting their damp quarters and checking for girls in bikinis by the indoor water park, Thos almost faints from the steam wafting off a bald man in wet trunks who is humidifying the elevator with his nearly nude body. Setting out on foot to acquire groceries for the night, the tableauxists are nearly struck by traffic whilst crossing a four lane road divided by a ten foot deep gully in the dark. No cross-walks are visible before the horizon on either side of the road.

For some folks, the low point of a working vacation would be sleeping in a pickup truck in the gravel lot outside a lead smelter or having to drink their light beer from a ‘clean’ coffee cup that had earlier been used to store urine, but for Thos it this moment. Crossing a thousand yards of parking lot asphalt to compromise his integrity by shopping at Walmart, he feels like a whore and a sellout — and even that is twisted because he is the one paying, not receiving payment — so he tries to justify…wait a second, “Holy shit, how can these Fujis be 99 cents a pound?” Thos exclaims. “Why doesn’t everyone shop here?!” “Everyone does.” They survive the night hike back through traffic to retire to the room where Thos dines on a bag of puffed wheat and a soy chai beverage, whilst JHT rolls his own soft tacos on the writing desk. Thos falls asleep to Workaholics s03e04 sitting up with his head draped by a blanket.

Cafe Tableaux. On The Road. Summer 2012
« Chapter 4: Liquid Planet | Chapter 6: Coffea »

Wandering Goat. Eugene, OR Perk Coffee and Espresso. Eugene, OR Java Break.  Lawrence, KS Aimees Coffeehouse.  Lawrence, KS Black Sheep. Sioux Falls, SD The Fix. Buffalo, WY Coffea.  Sioux Falls, SD Liquid Planet. Missoula, MT Zootown Brew.  Missoula, MT

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The Fix

323 East Hart Street
Buffalo, Wyoming 82834
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fix/120351994646542

soymilk: no extra charge

One Response to “The Fix”

  1. Gray

    I spoke too soon…the plot sickens!


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is a compendium of literary, anecdotal musings on coffeeshop and cafe culture.
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