THE SKY IS ADORNED WITH PURE WHITE streaks of cirrus cloud and all is right with the world as I point my Jetta west for one more day. I’m well used to the silence now and becoming comfortable with the way random thoughts rise and fall.
The blood stain on my father’s bedroom floor.
That boy at the mall, whose name I have forgotten, checking out my arse while I used his phone.
My nieces opening presents on Christmas Day.
The time I camped with Andrew by the lake.
The interstate runs through a gap between neighboring mesas as it tries to sneak into Arizona unseen. There’s a group of maybe twenty bikers riding up ahead. I ease off the gas to let them stay that way.
What happened to Cadillac Ranch Girl? I guess I’ll never know. If I ever see her again, perhaps I’ll talk to her. Or maybe not. If I exit now I can buy fireworks.
There’s a truck stop dead on the state line. Followed by a steady stream of Indian Trading Stores. Tomahawk. Teepee. Wailing Squaw. Yellow Horse. All lined up under the most beautiful cliff. Some sort of stratified pale pink stone.
The elevation at mile three hundred and forty seven is six thousand feet precisely. No more than one hundred yards deeper into Arizona, the Jetta decides it’s finally had enough of me. Something snaps somewhere – it must be a cable – and the gas pedal flops like a dead fish to the floor.
This is all the Jetta wrote.
I ease the dying car across the rumble strip onto the shoulder and then off onto the rough track at the side of the road. Reaching down, I confirm my diagnosis. Whatever this pedal was attached to before, it’s gone now. And fuck. I don’t even have a phone.
I do have five thousand dollars. And a gun.
Well, what else can I do?
I slip the baby Smith down the back of my shorts, open up the Jetta’s hood, and perch up on the trunk, leaning back against the rear window.
Stretching out my legs, I point my toes at the oncoming traffic. Doing what people say I do best. Looking pretty. And entitled.