The Smokin’ Pig BBQ, attached to Chu’s Convenience Mart, behind the BP Gas pumps, adjacent to the RacTrac’s retaining wall, was not the final stop on Danny Thomas’s journey. He was destined for more. However, as a waystation, the Pig couldn’t be beat. The restaurant smelled of hickory wood-smoke and the manager played Waylon Jennings on the fake-plant-hidden speakers. Plus, they gave him a free meal most nights. The Pig was a good place to figure out his next move.
Danny was holding down the register on a Tuesday when his old shop teacher sauntered in.
The teacher ordered a pulled pork sandwich, looked at Danny, and frowned. “I didn’t know you still worked here.”
“I do,” Danny said.
The teacher shook his head. “I always thought you were sharp. I figured you’d make something of your future.”
“I’m trying. The future’s not here yet.”
The teacher shook his head. “The future is already passed, son. You need to recognize opportunity when it comes, strike while the iron is hot.”
Danny nodded. “Yes, sir.”
The teacher pulled out a twenty. “A man shouldn’t leave his fate up to fate.”
Danny returned the change.
The teacher pocketed the cash, he didn’t tip. “Are you still singing in those dive bars?”
“You got more potential than this. Have you ever considered computers?”