It got me across the country. In fact I’m still driving it. I’ve already got more than my $800.00 worth. It’s ugly, brown and loud, but I don’t mind. There’s every sort of car out here, rusted out orange Pintos, and new Mercedes Benz’s. They make the movies here, so they’ve got to have all kinds. Some people even walk, like this guy I met yesterday playing country songs on his guitar, next to Jimmy Stewart’s star in the sidewalk. I would’ve given him a buck, if he’d known some Johnny Cash.
But here in the January sunshine, where even the migrant workers smile at nothing all day, what I’m thinking of, is you glancing out the window as the snow falls over Beacon St. You’re curled up in a blanket, watching 80’s movies, letting the telephone ring itself out, though not for Emilio Estevez or Molly Ringwald’s sake, you just can’t break the warm isolation of cable television. You’re not thinking of me.
I didn’t know I was leaving you, until I was on the road at three in the morning with only speeding eighteen wheeler’s to keep me company. I thought, some people do this every day and then head home again. But they must wonder, What if, this time I don’t turn around? They must, because it happens every day. I won’t turn around, and I’ll probably never think of you again like this. I’m just a face you saw a few times, had a few beers with, made polite conversation.
It’s not like I’m sending this to you. I just wondered for a minute, what it would be like to wake up in your bed as you were putting on your make-up to head out the door. Could I have lived there for the rest of my life, or was I always headed here, to this sunny ending, alone in my car at the In and Out Burger drive-thru?
previously published in Slipstream