Writing & Writers

Even when you were, you weren’t

“That’s the price you pay,” she told me. Somewhere down the road, a man hobbled down, his leg bent and broke with time. White locks blowing with the warm desert air. She threw the car in gear and pressed hard on the gas – an automatic vibrator of fury in overdrive. She nodded toward me, smirked. “You wanna see something worth watching for a change?”

The scene was cacti and tumbleweed – something out of a movie or a dull dreamer’s book. Nothing remotely interesting out there. She aimed the car at the old man. “What are you doing?” I asked.

“Just watch,” she said pushing down the pedal, zipping the car toward the unsuspecting victim. At the last moment, she blared the horn and pulled over to the side. The stunned man hobbled toward us, shuddering.

“Are you outta your mind?” he shouted. “You nearly nicked me.”

“Oh, come off it, Walter,” she said. “You weren’t in any trouble.”

The old man – Walter – jumped in the backseat. “Where we headed?”

“The city,” she said. “Nowhere in particular. And what are you doing out here in the desert?”

“Just looking for the ones who are in charge,” he said. “I have an idea on how to make this place ideal.”

“You’ll never find them,” she said. “They say they don’t exist anymore.”

“Sorta like god then, hu?” Walter chuckled. “Even here they fuck you up with their religion and philosophy.”

“There’s only one philosophy here,” she said. “You know that.”

We were miles from Boroughs now. I didn’t even bother looking at the mirror in hopes to see the looming buildings in the horizon. There wasn’t any point to it. I left it behind, or it pushed me out. “You’d think they’d solve the hunger problem,” I said. “You know, not make us hungry.”

“Even here we must dine,” said Walter. “You know what I miss though? Roasted leg of lamb. We had one every Thanksgiving instead of turkey.”

“Hell,” she said. “I miss Brussels sprouts.”

Further down the road, we past two drifters having sex under the desert sun. We spent our days this way. Driving and traveling aimlessly. Hitting one town after another. They way across the oceans lie other countries much like the ones we left behind. “Maybe one day,” she said. “We’ll see if it’s true.”


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