He's got no idea whether he's over her or not. It's been eons. More than enough time to make a goddamned decision on the matter. Question is, is it his decision to make? He was careful enough not to alienate her completely, but now, fuck, she's dangling off his dashboard, ass in his passenger seat, chin-to-chest and feigning sleep, as the sun crawls into its cave on the horizon, beaming it's final rays onto her bosom. And with all this room, and nothing to look at, his eyes keep wandering over to her lips, glossed and glittering beneath that hat-o'-straw. Even at ninety miles-an-hour, endless Kansas tries to convince him it's absolutely delusional to try and cross her, just by stretching and stretching, making herself infinite, but he knows the West and freedom are yonder. At least a version of the kind of freedom he preached to that girl with the glittering lips in their bygone days, their "two-for-one" days. He preached to her in her nakedness with unbridled excitement a transcendence of "care", of "concern", and embracing this thing he called "time". She always passed it off as beatnik mumbo-jumbo to which he'd reply, "But I've lived it, darling!" and her eyes would glow and stretch like little moons orbiting his lofty planet of Pacific ideals. Even after he had left her he crawled back and convinced her to move there with him. She agreed, but on the condition that they were no longer an item! He said "fair enough," and before long the bags were packed and now these two friends with history are out on the road, making the great American journey.
It's 3:00a.m. and her turn to drive.
"What's your favorite thing about California?" She asks him.
"The fact that it's all gold and flash and has no substance."
"Why's that?"
"Because that's the way everything is. Just none of it's as self-aware as California. Everything in this world is unpredictable and madness and day-to-day, moment-to-moment, but everywhere else people have plans and new-years resolutions. In California, New Years is about as sacred as any other Tuesday night. And you get just as fucked up for the same damn reasons."
"And what are those?"
"Because you can, because you want to, and because you'll regret it if you don't."
"That why you're sticking with me?"
"I don't know why the hell I'm still with you, woman. Couldn't put what's on my mind into words if I wanted to."
"Do you think you love me?"
"Told you there aren't any goddamned words for it!"
"Well what's it feel like?"
"Terrible, glorious, and otherwise a little prickly."
"I think I'm still in love with you."
"Well that's just a terrible thing to say."
"Why's that?"
"Because I swore I wouldn't make love to you, that's why. Now that you went and said that, that's all I'm gonna want to do."
"That's all you've wanted to do since Nashville."
"That's all I've wanted to do ever."
She looks him dead in the eyes, avoiding the road, like she has a phobia for it. She accelerates up to 160mph, putting the fear of God into him, demanding, "Well then why the hell did you leave me?"
"For Christ's sake woman, watch the road!"
"Answer the goddamned question! Why the fuck did you abandon me you heartless heap of snakeskin!?"
"Because I thought you didn't love me!"
"Because I thought you didn't love me anymore!" The truck screeches to a dusty, blinding halt. Suddenly, the deep landscape, with it's milky comforter is engulfed by a swirl of sandy silence. She stares, blankly into the dashboard. He adjusts his hat and attempts to regain his composure. "I thought...you wanted me to leave you. So I left."
Tears welled up in her eyes, and she put her head on the wheel.
"What is it?" He asked, perplexed.
"I did want you to leave. I wanted you gone forever. I completely forgot."
"When did you forget?"
"From the moment you walked out that goddamned door...up until just a second ago."
He slowly dons a smile worth a whole jar of 5-cent candy. "You glad I came back?"
She looks over to him, her head still resting on the wheel, crushing her hat-o'-straw. Her cheeks are as red as tomatoskin and all the gloss has rubbed off her lips. She nods, "Uh huh."
"Me too darling. Me too."



  1. "Terrible, glorious, and otherwise a little prickly."

    best part.

  2. Wow! I loved when you read me the PG-13 version!