Rushing in at the last minute, the cold wind makes my bangs flutter before the window shuts tight. Red-rimmed and burning eyes blink at the clock glaring 11:45 from a dark box. “11 hours…” my inner voice narrates, “11 hours since we left the house.” Past the torrential downpour in Detroit, past the irritable border guards, past the wrong turn leading to Leamington is this: darkness on the King’s Highway.
She shifts restlessly in the car and grabs a clove. I see a glimpse of her green eyes and red hair for a split second as the lighter fades into a dull orange, spicy-smelling dot. Maybe I should have the kept the window down? We’ve smoked the Hell out of that pack, but then again, nothing parties like a rental.
“We can find a place to stop, if you want to stretch your legs.” Yeah, those legs used to walk over a lot of people. Those legs I’d still kill for. I could use the stop though, maybe shakedown a vending machine for coffee. That is… if they take American.
“No…” a listless yawn precedes,”we’re almost there anyway.”
Peering out into the darkness, I only saw more darkness.
“We need some music.” Instantly perky, she begins to flip through the CD folder. Anything’s better than silence, I suppose. “Oh, hey… yeah,” she pauses to to scrape the CD up by her fingernail. “You’ll like this,” sliding the disc into the thin, vertical slit of the dash console. Vinyl record effects pop through the car’s woofers, as if there were a needle to be found somewhere. We might as well be driving a haystack.
“I live on a chain and you share the same last name. As a joke, I sent a bottle of whiskey.
As you choked, I knew it made you feel dirty,”*
Pete Yorn’s disembodied, breathy voice entered the car. I felt the indie pretentiousness immediately, like I needed a hipster in here. Without much provocation, sound erupts through the level 22 settings.
“And I was waiting over here for life to begin. I was looking for the new thing, and you were the sunshine heading my front-line, I was alone, you were just around the corner from me.”
Light slides up the dashboard, and I wince to keep the Chevy Malibu on the road. It is the forte of the trip, a very ill-advised and sketchy dive into the Great White North. I see a city alive. She gets her vindication. Damn her.
© 2014 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved
* – Yorn, Pete. “Life on a Chain.” Musicforthemorningafter. Columbia, 2001.