Family and Relationships
After six states, 1,300 miles, and almost twenty-four hours, the iron tang of blood and bleach still hadn’t blown out of my truck. And that’s saying something because since the fire I can’t hardly smell dog shit if I step in it.
There was a flutter in my rib cage, a somersault of uneasiness. I hadn’t witnessed such concentrated weirdness up close since my parents were alive: my father’s conspiracy theories and colon-cleansing elixirs; my mother’s ground-up lithium in a locket around her neck.
An identity thief, a flat tire on the Williamsburg Bridge, a cat named Cinnamon
All that fall and into the winter, bulldozers and cranes cleared away the wooded top of Ransom Mountain, knocking down trees and shoveling dirt and rock into dump trucks, leaving behind a flat, barren expanse. Come spring, we were told, the mountain’s top and back would be a landfill that three counties would pay to use, creating jobs in town for the first time since the mines had shut down. But no one I knew thought very much about that.
I’m driving north on I-95. The asphalt rushes beneath my tires, and when the speedometer hits eighty, the steering wheel vibrates in my hands, this little sedan protesting. The trees along the interstate burn orange and gold, and the northern half of the East Coast stretches ahead of me. I’m driving north on I-95 in October, which means I feel like someone is dying.
Day after day we write his memories. It’s harder for me to help with the ones from before we met, but still I write them. He tells me everything he can remember, and the rest I fill in from the stories he’s told me in the past.
After I flunked tenth grade, I went to an alternative school for two years until I tested out. Now I’m at a high school with a college track. My guidance counselor is Mr. Peboe. I think he might have a crush on me because he is always calling me into his office.
Contraband cinnamon, a coupon for a free turkey, evening constitutionals