that this is Oregon, but I canít quite be sure. I remember seeing a sign
that said that, it could have just been the name of a street though. In
between the exhaust fumes and headlights there must have been one. How else
would I know?
Sometimes I think that maybe weíre just driving
in circles, but that we never quite get back to anywhere weíve been before.
For all I know I may have seen this whole continent, or maybe I havenít
been past more than three states.
At some point names tend to stop mattering.
Iím not sure if Iíve gone over the Golden Gate Bridge, all I know is that
Iíve seen beauty and the ocean from above. If someone asked me how to get
from Pennsylvania to New York I couldnít name the roads, but put me in the
driverís seat and Iíll get you from 30th Street Station right up to the
feet of Lady Liberty herself.
There are no Interstate Highways, just this
big stretch of eternity.
There are no Texacos, just places to refill my tank. Our tank. Weíre in
this together after all.
We ran out of money somewhere along the way.
In between a mall with sinks I washed my clothes in and that farmhouse with
its barn no one knew we slept in. But we were hungry, so we walked in.
There is no Dennyís, just a place where we scored a free meal.
He said he wanted to marry me, right there
in front of the whole place, got down on one knee and everything. The meal
is on the house they said, because we were so nice.
If I ever get married to anyone itíll be a
If anyone ever asks me for real itíll be an even bigger one.
Then there was the time we ran out of gas
money. No one ever goes over that possibility with you when they talk about
the open road and escaping. You arenít escaping a whole lot; you still need
money, you still need sleep. You still need someone to keep you awake behind
Most importantly, in the end, you need some
place to go, or at least an idea of what youíre looking for. Our biggest
mistake: we got away but to nowhere. Not that weíre any worse off than we
So we looked for the smallest town off of
the big stretch of eternity and I asked someone real nice for some gas.
They wanted something for it; they wanted what I wanted to get away from.
I shouldnít have been surprised, so I did what I always do. I closed my
eyes, I pretended I liked it, and we got away again.
Everyone wants to just get into a car at some
point and drive until they find something worth stopping for. So we did.
Sometimes when heís gone for a few minutes I think about leaving him behind,
and I wonder if heíll hate me for it, and I wonder if Iíll be better off.
Mostly I just wonder if Iíd be able to find the place I left him.
Or would I just close my eyes? And pretend
I like it. And just get away.
I think that eventually weíll have to reach some place where the roads just
stop dead and u-turns arenít allowed. Where there is nothing ahead but water
like there was under that bridge. Golden Gate? Brooklyn Bridge? Does it
matter? Wasnít it Thales that thought water was the ultimate reality? I
read that once.
It wasnít a Barnes and Noble, just a place
Iíd never be respected in.
What makes a good story? I could write a book,
but could I show it to the world?
We drove off together; we didnít know what
else to do. People are flawed and people are everyone. They just all catch
up with you eventually, and you begin to lose hope. And you wonder if there
really was a reason for everything youíve ever done.
But this stretch of eternity is always forgiving.
We talked about dreams and goals until we
realized that none of them were really ours.
I let him cut my hair for me because he wanted
to. I havenít looked in the mirror yet; I like the way I feel in it too
much to let that be ruined by how I actually look.
And we thought for a while that maybe we would
We arenít the Bonnie and Clyde team people
think at first.
I kissed him once but that was just because
I was so happy.
I wonder if I could ever get something published,
be a small part of that place I thought I could never be respected in. I
wonder if that would be my climax, my movie moment. I wonder if my words
really could live on past me. And if theyíd be worth the time. Can I tell
a story and have people want to show it to other people?
My moment. The moment in The Godfather when
Michael finally loses his soul on screen. The moment in Sleepers when the
orchestra starts to play and you realize that you canít shout out warnings
to a flashback. The moment when you were walking down the street and someone
was saying something as ridiculous as ďIím calling you out Johnny.Ē And
you laughed because you didnít think people really said that in real life
and it sounded so silly. Before the tears and the violence and the past
broke through to the present. Before you realized that those words had never
been spoken with more sincerity or fear.
The moment when for the first time in your
life you feel like youíve made it.
I want to find the end of this stretch of
I want to stand on the edge and look up.
And scream that I made it.
* * *
We ran into a bunch of college kids at a motel last night.
Is it Spring already? I guess I should have
been able to tell how much time has passed. The songs on the radio finally
switched over, itís a new ten songs the same station will play over and
over again. Our anthems will have to change, the background noise is completely
different now and that changes everything. Every new place is going to
really start to feel new.
Even on their breaks they walk around with
logos on their shirts. Look at me, this is what I belong to. Iíve always
promised myself that whenever I get somewhere, I wonít ever put its name
on any of my shirts.
But they were nice enough, they let us use the
showers in their rooms. All I had to do was ask real nice. I hadnít realized
how much I had missed an actual shower, itís been too long. Old habits
die hard though, I brought all my laundry in there with me and washed
it right there.
How can it be an old habit when Iíve only
been doing it for a month?
Maybe itís because for once it isnít something
Iíve been taught, but learned.
He looked pretty good after a real shower.
He looked fresh.
He looked new.
I like my hair this way after all, even
after seeing it. It feels good to not care.
He flirted with one of the college girls
and they went out back somewhere. I guess it should bother me, even though
we arenít together, but it doesnít. If you asked me if I loved him I would
say yes. But for once it isnít the need to possess him too. Because I
know that wouldnít make me any more special to him. Weíve shared things
out here together that no amount of kissing and holding and fucking could
ever compare to. And yet maybe we still barely know each other.
Maybe weíve each only gotten the smallest
glimpse of this side no one else has ever seen. We probably donít know
anything about the side that everyone else knows. Do I know him more or
less than all the rest of them? I suppose the question I should be asking
is, does he know me?
And still Iím not jealous.
Iíve got an idea now though, the next time
we come across a motel like this, Iím going to try asking one of the maids
for a few minutes in one of the bathrooms. Weíve gotten soap and shampoo
off of them before; theyíve always been pretty nice. Should I have been
thinking more about him instead of that? I guess itís alright, as long
as Iím still getting some hot water.
And then one of the logo guys asked me to
come by his room too. He keeps looking at me like I looked at that guy
at the gas station. The one that wanted something for his gas.
He doesnít know that I got into a college
just as good as the one on all of his hoodies. If theyíre even his. It
scares me how much that might make him treat me differently, if he knew.
When did the whole world turn into that same moment repeating itself over
When did I become the people I used?
* * *
I was sitting on this bench inside a mall this afternoon, waiting for
him to come back. Weíd taken a couple of dollars out of each of the logo
peopleís wallets. They wouldnít miss it, and he said he was only going
to use part of it.
This man came by and sat next to me. He
was sweet, he wanted to know my name. But he looked so lost, this grown
man. He said his daughter and her husband were there to do some shopping
and that they had told him to wait there. So now he was on his own. So
sweet and innocent.
Thatís not something you see in a grown
man much, not if heís what everyone would call normal. This guy wasnít
normal, I donít think he had been born the way he is now either. Maybe
it was an accident, maybe it was a disease, maybe he didnít even know
that he had ever been another way.
And so he sat there, and asked me my name
again, and he smiled. He sat there and smiled at a stranger while his
daughter was somewhere else smelling colognes.
Thatís what I imagined she was doing anyway,
smelling so many different scents that by now they all smelled the same.
Trying to pick something out with her husband, trying to make a memory
out of it. Trying to forget the man sheíd left on a bench, the one that
had held her and promised her he would always keep her safe and take care
of her. Trying to forget how he had lied.
Heíd be lost until she came back to find
him. Heíd be lost and smiling at strangers until she could bear to look
him in the eyes again and listen to his stutter.
I looked at him lost, cast out, a part of
history forever gone.
That was the day I finally put my name on
the cover of my notebook.
And then he came back, jiggling the keys and not letting me see what
was in the bag. I almost decided to bring the man with us, put him in
our car and find a way to make him laugh. But we were better off just
the two of us.
That night after we had found a place to
park he brought out a pack of playing cards and cheap cigars. We sat on
the hood and he taught me how to play poker. We pretended we were in a
small room and had more to lose than just thirty dollars.
We played to see who would name the car.
We argued over whether calling a car Rusty
was really as predictable as it was stupid.
He tried to give it a personís name, like
Harry or Bob or Joe, like Bob was any less predictable. I decided that
if I won I would name it Rusty, just to piss him off.
We slept on the hood of Rusty Bob that night,
because the weather was getting so much warmer. He fell asleep with his
head on my shoulder. He smelled like cheap motel soap and cigar smoke.
And I didnít mind one bit.
* * *
Put two men in a car together and they will spend the whole time joking,
laughing, sharing, talking about sex, and acting like children. Put two
women in a car together and they will spend the whole time gossiping,
singing, joking, laughing, talking about sex, and acting like children.
Put a man and a woman in a car together
and they will laugh, smile, bond, share, and fight over directions and
plans and signals and try to figure out if they really want to talk about
sex. And act like married children.
ďCome on, be a man, stop the car and ask
ďDo you think that has ever worked before?
Do you actually think that there has been a man that has gone ĎOh, well,
when you put it like that honey, of course Iíll pull over.í?Ē
ďWeíve been going past the same five streets
for a half hour.Ē
ďTHIS TOWN ONLY HAS FIVE STREETS.Ē
ďThere has to be a turn Iím missing somewhere.
Donít worry, Iíll find it.Ē
ďRight there, thatís the only turn you havenít
made yet, thatís got to be the way back to the highway. Go left.Ē
ďThe sign says No Outlet.Ē
ďThe sign is lying.Ē
ďI donít think so.Ē
ďIT SAYS NO OUTLET.Ē
ďGET ME OUT OF THIS GODFORSAKEN PLACE. LEFT.
ďALRIGHT IíM GOING LEFT.Ē
ďYou just turned right.Ē
* * *
Does it really bother us? The way that there is always a mall and a Starbucks
and a McDonalds. Cross the Atlantic Ocean and theyíll still be there,
everything in them looking and tasting exactly the same. We say weíre
bothered but still there they are.
As much as it may kill you, it can also work for you. Once you figure
out how to get by in one place, you can pretty much make it in all of
them. Just look for the golden arches and grey parking lots and coffee
Just when you think youíre in the deepest
you can go, you find that thereís always a whole new level further down.
I canít figure myself out sometimes, the way I can begin to feel guilty
about something but then convince myself that itís all perfectly alright.
We were smoking our cigars, feet up on the dashboard and singing along
to some old bootleg Alice in Chains song on the radio when he decided
we needed to refill our tank. This worried me because we were running
out of money again and I thought I knew what would come next. I was wrong.
We still had half a tank but he pulled into
a rest stop anyway and parked. I figured he was going in to pay for a
pump, but when he came back out he was carrying a hose and a can.
Even I could figure the plan out.
And it was surprisingly easy to pull off.
See, no matter how far out you drive, or what direction you go, eventually
youíre going to come to some small suburban part of the country.
That was the day we started siphoning off
gas from other peopleís tanks. The first time we did it was in a big grey
parking lot in the suburbs. There canít be a sadder job than the one the
mall police have, and boy are they pissed about it, so we were careful
about avoiding them.
The first car we tried it on had one of
those gas tanks you needed a key to open; but another nice looking couple
came by again eventually. The kind that wouldnít miss half a tank of gas.
The kind that if they caught you, you could
cry your way out of trouble with.
I stole the gas, he kept a look out.
It spawned all sorts of jokes about how
good at sucking I was.
Not that I wouldnít have said the same things
With our tank full again we merged back
on to the highway, keeping an eye out for the next exit with an interesting
name. One that sounded like it would be a place with more than five streets.
I couldnít help but wonder what would have
happened if I had stayed a little longer.
And sat on a bench for a while.
* * *
He keeps asking to read what I write all the time, but weíd be together
when he did and I donít think I could bear to watch the process. Iíve
re-read some of the things Iíve written down and it never stops haunting
me, how clichéd and Catcher in the Rye I sound. I didnít mean it
to come out this way, honest. Iíve just got things to say. That I want
to read as my words, not someone elseís.
Itís different from the way I usually write.
I canít remember a time before this that I actually wrote in the first
person and acknowledged the fact that I was talking about me. You can
try to disguise things all you want, but with anything you write, some
of it is always about you. Sometimes all of it. The person I spend the
most time trying to fool is myself.
We split the rest of the money down the
middle because we wonít need it for gas anymore. Weíve also learned that
the best time for a refill is early in the morning, when people first
start pulling in. That way you donít really have to worry about the constant
flow of people coming back to their cars, theyíre all headed one way.
Itís hard to get places when you have no
money for tolls. What weíll do sometimes is get on the-road-you-pay-to-drive
and exit wherever our exact change takes us. Itís a fun way to live.
The clocks moved forward an hour today,
and we were completely oblivious to it. They must have told us on the
radio, but we never really pay attention to that noise.
Itís all in the background to us.
By the time we hit one of the food court
dumps out back the food had already been sitting there an hour. We had
to wait until the next one and find something else to do.
I bought a pack of disposable razors, two
more cigars, Tampax, and a new Bic. Ah, the life of luxury. What can I
say; I was a woman in a store, a Rite Aid, sure, but a store nonetheless.
Those places charge way too much but, had we gone to a Wal-mart, it might
have been three hours and a whole tank of gas later that we would have
found our way back out. Convenient, but scary.
When I got back to the car he was holding
up two bags of Chinese food. I guess weíre going to have to find some
new logo people soon, but it was worth it.
We ate the cookies and threw the fortunes
We smoked cigars on our hood and played
We got dirty looks from passing mothers
We tried to help people that were struggling
with their bags, help the mothers that we didnít think could set us aflame
by sheer power of will.
Kids liked us, most people warmed to us.
The pissed off mall security guard asked
us to leave at closing, no overnight parking he said. He wouldnít have
warmed to anybody.
We had two dollars and fifty cents left.
And Iíd never been happier.
* * *
The problem is how when you try to think back to a certain time you canít
really remember anything about it. The only memories you seem to have
are the ones connected to small, insignificant things and only come back
when you donít ask them to.
A day at school. A friend laughing. The
person that sat in front of you during fourth period English. Suddenly
remembering the first time you met someone. A kiss. An innocent hug. An
Sometimes the breath on the back of your
neck triggers a memory, and other times it is only someone else breathing
on the back of your neck. Sometimes someone whispering your name gives
you goose bumps, and other times it is only someone else trying to wake
I wish I knew how to control them, how to
shut them off or only ever remember the ones I wanted to.
People who say they canít remember their
childhoods are lying; theyíve just been doing it so long that they have
started to believe it themselves.
I canít remember my childhood.
Donít make me.
* * *
She remembered the smells of cloudy rooms, of tobacco flavored tongues
against hers, and of the ends of long nights both good and bad. She remembered
the final salute to the end of a day being that same burning inside of
The more smoke she took in the harder her
throat seemed to try and close in on her. But she wasnít going to stop
herself; addiction is nothing but a learned reaction. To cry, to laugh,
and perhaps even to love. They could all be merged together into this
same emotionless void and kept in tight by a wall of nicotine.
And she kept remembering.
She remembered sitting on the outside, or
sometimes right in the middle, but never really being a part. Of focusing
her attention more on making a memory and of linking it in her mind then
of really being there; pushing so hard to create something that wasnít
just her imagination.
And as she inhaled again, she thought back.
Tried to dig them up and make them work and have herself feel something
along with her pain. You cry and you fight and you burn and you bleed.
Or you could simply inhale.
Abstract images, tar and nicotine.
Memories of things that were never meant
to be remembered.
Sarcasm where others were nice, laughing
where others cried, rubbing skin raw in places where the scars were too
But the cigarette had already burned its
way down to the filter.
And all she was left with were memories
half as good as they could have been.
* * *
This isnít about fear and running away, this isnít about finding the
answers to the questions Iíve never thought to ask. We have the time,
we are the in-betweens. Weíre at that point where we should be planning
for the future and feeling nostalgic about a past still so close itís
now. Fuck that.
I could tell myself that I donít want any
of it, and that I could find another way. I could tell myself that what
Iíve been through is so horrible that I donít ever want to go back to
where I might have to face the constant reminders of it. That might all
be true, but it would also mean me believing that I am special. That I
am the only one with pain behind her eyes and the inability to share it
with the world.
To believe that I am special is one lie
I wonít ever let myself fall for.
Along the way we talked about death and
God and immortality. He talked about sports and I pretended to be interested,
I talked about novels and poetry and he pretended to like it. We talked
about our families and told each other things no one else was ever meant
to know. We talked about sex, we joked about school.
I tore two pages out of my notebook and we wrote
down some of our deepest fantasies and fears and then showed them to each
We knew that, real or not, we would find that
edge of eternity, and that would be the end of it all. We would scream
out loud together and have a few brief moments, and then we would go back.
Later we will call it youth and adolescence.
Maybe even stupidity.
But only so that we wonít have to miss it
* * *
What are our deepest fantasies? Iíve conveniently left out the details.
I want to write them down somewhere so they wonít be lost.
He still keeps asking what I write, I guess
after this Iíll have to start showing him. Maybe I could start using his
name, if it were about the both of us. I donít like that idea though,
itís better in Iís and heís. Or I could give him a name like Rusty, or
Speedy. I could call him Bob.
If I were to meet him a year from not though,
I donít think Iíd be able to say more than ďÖyou.Ē So weíll stick with
Or maybe He.
I think heíll like that. Weíll have to see.
Back to our fantasies? Donít make me use
the Iís and heís for that. Donít make me use specifics. You can build
a whole different world around your fantasies, or desires, or innermost
fears, and no one would ever know. I think thatís what Iíll do. I wonít
ever use our real names; I wonít ever say whose is whose. The facts themselves
might never add up, but Iíll let you in the only way I know how.
I canít do that right now though, heís gone
to sleep on my left shoulder again, and Iím a leftie. Iíve got to decide
who Iím going to start with. Did you know I was a leftie?
Iím going to have to go back some day and
figure out exactly when I stopped writing to me and started writing to
* * *
He put on a show for everyone. Thatís all his life was, a great big
show. Iím fine heíd say, just tired. He liked stability, possibly because
heíd never had it; the only thing he had learned to expect and count on
was the hand that seemed frozen above him. Then it struck.
Pain is a feeling, our bodies telling us
something is wrong. He had a smart body. The pain seared through him,
over his back where scars had healed and now new ones were being made.
Dozens of them marred his back, running along his stomach and his limbs.
Never his face though, no, never his face. Wouldnít want the wrong people
Footsteps. They retreated to his door and
He hadnít even noticed it was over.
* * *
The scent of alcohol lay heavy across the room, but Scott crossed
it anyway, careful to avoid the empty bottles. He was tired after the
nightís basketball game had run long. It was almost tradition, the kids
from the neighborhood gathering at the Randallís house down the block
ever Sunday and marking the beginning of a new week.
They had their own basketball court; it
wasnít much to look at with its long gravel driveway and makeshift chain-link
hoops, but it was theirs. The problem with playing the same people week
after week though was that, eventually, they got better. The game had
ended in a tie and promises of revenge.
He quickly scanned the floor upstairs, making
sure his father wasnít still wandering around in his usual stupor, grateful
that, for at least tonight, he wouldnít have to deal with any of it. Once
he was in his room, he got right under the covers, too tired to change.
The lights went out and, for a while at least, everything was peaceful.
There was a crash and Scott jolted up, alert.
Slowly, he rolled out of bed, thinking that he should have made sure his
father was really in bed. So he climbed down the stairs, still a little
groggy, looking for whatever had been knocked over. He laughed at the
irony, the whole place was a wreck, and everything had been knocked one
way or another.
Still, nothing was too out of place. That
left the kitchen.
As he reached the doorway his father came
into view. Wow, was the only word that came to mind. He barely recognized
the man standing in front of him, eyes wild, hair matted to his forehead
with what could have been sweat or Vodka. The stench wasnít helping him
figure it out.
The man stumbled toward him, and Scott readied
himself to support the extra weight. That was before he realized what
had woken him up.
In his right hand he was gripping a broken
bottle, light catching on its edges, almost hypnotic. The bloodshot eyes
turned violent and Scott had to dodge as the glass was swung at him.
It doesnít matter how well you know that you could win a fight with
someone; if you fear them, fighting never really seems like an option.
So he did the only thing he could think of, he grabbed the fire extinguisher
from above the stove and blasted him.
The bottle was knocked down, but it wasnít
The spray had been meant to calm him down, sedate him. Too bad it had
only pissed him off.
He dropped the canister and ran from the
room, confused and scared, thinking more of getting away than of protecting
For a drunk his father could run pretty
fast. Maybe it was the familiarity, or maybe it was because Scottís muscles
were still aching from the long game just a few hours before, but he was
also able to dodge all those empty bottles a hell of a lot easier.
Scott tripped on one at the top of the stairs
and came rolling down, the wind knocked out if him. He came to a stop
at the feet of a man it seemed he had spent his entire life trying to
get away from.
Glazed, unfathomable eyes scanned the room,
coming to rest somewhere to his right. Next to the banister was a table,
cluttered with photos his mother had spent weeks arranging in their expensive
frames. She had always liked to show off; before she had left them for
Scott tried to get up but only succeeded
in knocking himself back down; he was too dizzy to stand. The eyes finally
seemed to focus and he followed that line of vision.
Before he had time to think the frame was
in a shaking hand above him. This time, when the first blow fell, Scott
could not stop it. One after another they kept coming, faster and faster,
staining the once pretty silver frame with blood. He tried pleading; tears
escaping pain-filled eyes. But it didnít stop, not until he could no longer
feel the pain. Not until he couldnít feel anything.
Seconds later he was bolting upright in bed again, gasping for air,
confused. Slowly, he let out a sigh of relief. ThenÖ
That same sound.
The fear was enough to make him laugh moments
And this is why you keep getting picked
on, he thought. Just like the first time, he thought of his father, and
of just getting him back to his room so that they could both get some
He went downstairs.
Nothing in the living room.
Then, there they were again. Angry eyes
and a broken bottle.
He felt sorry for it then, that bottle.
Theyíd both been broken by the same man.
Scott backed away this time as he came towards
him. More incomprehensible murmurs, more hateful sneering. He turned and
ran from the room. He stopped at the bottom of the stairs to arm himself
with a picture frame. It would not be like the first time.
Just as he began up the steps, thinking
he had gotten away, the searing pain on his left side told him otherwise.
The bottle tore at his ear, throwing him off balance. He spun, holding
up the heavy frame, ready to use it.
The jagged glass was plunged into his stomach.
The last thing he saw was the deep tear it had made.
He sat up in bed, tears streaming down his face, shaking and too
scared to think straight.
It had seemed so real.
That sound again.
No, he thought to himself, nonononono.
Fear was replaced by anger as he remembered
the way his father had looked at him, the way he had mercilessly torn
at his flesh and broken his bones.
Shattered his soul.
The same way he had always done.
He got out of bed and went downstairs, face
pale with adrenaline. Not even thinking this time, he grabbed a frame
from the table and walked into the kitchen.
No hesitating this time, his father moved
to avoid the blow, but he just wasnít the fastest one anymore.
One turned to many, they came faster and
faster now, and Scott remembered the pain. Past, and present, and what
he knew would be the future.
Again and again he hit him; the blood seeped
from his head and flowed across the kitchen tiles, a pool that only got
Something grey came out along with the blood,
they started to mix. They looked so beautiful.
He finally stopped his mad frenzy, feeling
He looked around the kitchen, looking for
the broken bottle.
But there wasnít any.
He waited for the familiar jolt.
To wake up.
Problem was, he wasnít asleep.
Donít stop to try and figure out which one of us that is, it doesnít matter.
Donít try and separate the truths from the lies. Just take that feeling,
lie down and hold on to it.
And youíre getting to know one of us already.
* * *
Roads are strange things. Donít worry, this isnít going to turn into
some metaphor for life, Iím sick of that myself. I really am only talking
about the physical dirt and gravel.
Every time I drive by a construction site,
and I watch the foundations being set, and I look at the people doing
it, I canít help but notice how unstable it all seems. And how those people
could be anybody, how someone could trust even me to build an overpass.
Then you drive by hospitals and watch doctors
walking in and out. Thatís their whole life, putting damaged bodies back
together again because weíre so damn fragile. Really theyíre just like
you and me.
Doctors are not perfection and neither are
I used to think that the way things were
were the way things were always going to be. That certain things were
unalterable. Every building was always going to be there and every person
in charge was always going to stay that way. But nothing is fact, and
nothing is forever, and you come to realize the people in charge know
about as much as you do.
Itís painful to see some things fall. Itís
scary to not really know when the ground is going to shake next, or the
foundations of something are going to give way, or if the person reattaching
your arm is going to put it on backwards.
He keeps laughing at the things I write,
but thatís okay, itís a nice laugh.
Itís scary to think that we wonít always be around, the two of us together.
Behind the scenes of what seems like perfection
is always some form of lucky mistake.
It would be nice to fully commit myself to something, but what would keep
me interested and motivated long enough to not fuck it up? I think Iíd
do a half-assed job of paving a road or putting a cast on someoneís leg.
They donít pay you to be a bum and write
down what people already know.
Was I telling you about the two of us? Our
secrets? I havenít smoked in a few days; I guess thatís a good thing.
He keeps letting me win at poker too.
We played and I won. I won and he kissed
Then he went into the mall to wash his hair
in one of the sinks. We really donít spend as much time at malls as you
might think, itís just the only time I really feel like writing. That
may have something to do with how depressing suburbia is.
We didnít say anything when he got back.
He was flirting with someone else at the next stop, and they went out
back somewhere again.
And still Iím not jealous.
Iím too busy watching someone paint a billboard
and wondering how they make it look so near perfect.
We both huddled in the backseat that night, it was raining pretty heavy.
I guess another thing being out on the road does for you is it makes everything
seem unimportant. I donít need much from another person; just being held
makes me happy. I donít want gifts and flowers and declarations of love
every few minutes, I just want someoneís arms around me.
I was just drifting off, and he was whispering
in my ear, so soft I almost didnít catch it.
ďCan I keep you?