I’m driving. Highway. To where, I don’t know, just gone. Gone. Like Tim used to say. Gone. The sunroof is open, and I ash out out it as I drive, burning my cigarette. She speaks, she says, she’s not here. But I hear her–my memory’s ear. On this stretch of this road, at this time, in this dark, cars don’t come. I have the road to myself. And here she is talking. Talking to me like she’s in the front-seat next to me. I raise the volume, it’s that song, but I keep it regardless, and I pull out another cigarette. I smoke so many cigarettes, I acknowledge

I miss her, but I hate her. I think about her often but I shouldn’t. A road sign: Temple thirty miles. I got a full tank of gas. Fuck Temple. Pass temple. Who needs Temple. Driving at a speed five miles above a ticket and have no one to stop me. Such a puss, I hear but from who I don’t know. Jake is in the back seat, he’s sleeping, and thank God that he is ‘cause he’d make me. I light the cigarette, thank God for Jake’s Xanax and exhale.

I would say we were gone but that’d be a lie. We are on our way to Erie. “What else is new,” she says. I change the song. If only she knew, how many times I really did–I nod myself correct. Ten miles above limit. “You don’t care,” she wines. I raise the volume. “No I really fucking don’t,” I pretend. Thank God Jake is sleeping. The nosy bastard he is, he’d have to ask, and I’d have to answer him nothing and leave it at that. Fucking pill-head. I really do hate the guy sometimes. He does not care. He will ask me but never care–at least remember but not care. He is zooted out of his mind. And thank God. I lower the volume. We’re an hour ’till Erie. Headlights appear, and I slow my speed. The opposing lane, it’s maybe a cop, and at this hour might as well be. I stay it set, 65.

“That’s what you say to me to make me have to care,” I remind her. Having got her, I take a gulp of my wine, screw back on the cap and slip it under the seat. “Exactly,” I tell her. That time out loud. She says back nothing. I grab another cigarette, and the bastard wakes up–rubbing his eyes, like a little kid. Well, maybe just rubbing his eyes but still. “Can I have one,” he asks. “Exactly,” I tell him, “Yeah,” and I pass him a cigarette. I’ve almost an empty pack. Why did I bring Jake with me, I wonder. “When we get there, man, you’re gonna have to wait in the car, you know,” I remind him, a third time.

That’s nothing against Jake, I’d say the same to anyone–it is the situation–this is a drug deal, and I am the buyer. The reason we’re driving all night, and the reason we will drive all morning. A thousand dollars, which for me–the no-Tony-Montana I am, quite the drug deal. “You worry too much,” he tells me, this bastard says “But I understand,” he claims, “Wait in the car. Got it.”

I’ve no words for this. I feel a desire to add something but he speaks again: “You know his dad, he owns like Arby’s, right,” he says laughing, “He’s not Tony Montana.” Bastard. Fucking another coincidence on the night. I think something, I hear something. Too much for me now to chalk nothing. “Yeah I realize, man, he’s not Tony Montana. Thanks for the update,” I tell him, “Anyway, he doesn’t want to see you, hence the reason I tell you.” Silence. He says nothing. “I mean why else do I bring it up,” I insist, and glance in the review. He’s sleeping. Already, he’s back asleep, and probably hears me, too, the bastard pill-head he is. I toss him a cigarette. I don’t care where it lands. I don’t bother to see, it’s probably somewhere on him and not on the wet floor. In either case he’s not getting another.

“Nice to see you’re doing so well,” she says, and I lose it. “Likewise, you fuck,” and trying to stop myself, “What are you doing in my car if your life is so great,” I think to myself. She laughs at this. “I don’t choose to be here,” she tells me, “That’s on you, not me,” she says. I nod. I pull out the bottle, and take down a quarter. I burp. It burns–slightly–I burp it again. Tasty. “You’re gross,” she says. “I’m high on shit,” I tell her, and spit from the sunroof.



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