think 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 surprise.
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 the wheel.
     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 were before.
     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 go back.
     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 eternity.
     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 and 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 for directions.Ē
     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
     ďSo what?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
     ďGO LEFT.Ē
     ďIT SAYS NO OUTLET.Ē
     ďGET ME OUT OF THIS GODFORSAKEN PLACE. LEFT. LEFT. LEFT.Ē
     ďALRIGHT IíM GOING LEFT.Ē
     ďYou just turned right.Ē
     ďI know.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 cup signs.
     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 to him.
     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 away.
     We smoked cigars on our hood and played more poker.
     We got dirty looks from passing mothers and veterans.
     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 unwanted touch.
     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 you up.
     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 her chest.
     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 well hidden.
     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 other.
     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 so much.

 

* * *

 

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 he.
     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 you.

 

* * *

 

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 asking questions.
     Footsteps. They retreated to his door and were gone.
     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.
     Midnight.
     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 over.
The spray had been meant to calm him down, sedate him. Too bad it had only pissed him off.
     Big mistake.
     He dropped the canister and ran from the room, confused and scared, thinking more of getting away than of protecting himself.
     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 good.
     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 later.
     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 sleep.
     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.
     Too slow.
     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 wider.
     Something grey came out along with the blood, they started to mix. They looked so beautiful.
     He finally stopped his mad frenzy, feeling better.
     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 construction workers.
     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 me.
     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?