I was fuming mad. Traffic was so backed up it took me 10 minutes to get onto Route One, only to go nowhere one foot at a time. Like everyone else in that parking lot, it was only a matter of how late I was going to be. I didn’t know if you’d wait for me, there at the dawn of time before cell phones were a thing. I don’t think I could have salvaged anything but if i’d been there 5 minutes earlier, I’d at least have seen the back of your dress as you walked out the door.
50. Already There
I had been wandering, lost and alone, for too long, directionless in an obscure landscape. The road had forked and forked again. There had been companions, but we had lost track. I was tired, hungry, cold, and near the end.
“There’s a place where it is always light,” she whispered, appearing before me out of my despair, “with no place dark, but brightness everywhere.” I wanted to believe her, and hoped that my wanting would make it true.
“Can we go there, you and me,” I asked. She smiled.
“Oh, my love,” she sang, “we’re already there.”
49. A Hitchhiking Story
A stringbean of a cowboy picked us up in a red El Camino, a crumpled straw hat roosting on his head. He gave Annette a slow sideways perusal, then turned his eyes back to the road. I asked him about the saddle and guitar in the back, and he offered to play a song. We stood in the dust at the side of the road as he sang a lonesome tune. He was a terrible guitarist and a worse singer. Before he drove off, he shook my hand.
“I’m Shorty Tallman,” he drawled.
Of course you are, I thought.