By Ryan Day


A man with a creepy Will Rogers smile and eyes like a snake ready to eat the eggs from the nest of some absent mother duck stared at me from the opposite bank of seats. His hair could have been finger-painted on his scalp by a slow-learning kindergartner. His broad torso was draped in a Steelers jersey.

A moment passed before I registered the awkward rising and lowering of his shoulder. Yet another moment before I saw that the hand at the other end of that arm was buried beneath the fly of his Levi’s. This was something like a first date in the eighteen-wheel-iverse—what I’d taken to calling the world I’d been living in for the past couple of months.

In 2005 I got a phone call to come to Shreveport and kill a dragon.Dragon slaying is a metaphor I adopted long ago – the origins of which are probably best saved for another story.Still, this was a mission.My friend Rachel ran the comedy club there at the time and thought I should come in for a particular weekend to “help her solve a problem”.She had called me more than a few times about it, actually, but that was all the information she would give me.