“The road is our bitch!” I hear myself say through the haze of my own inebriation. Omega replies but I don’t hear it through the fuzz, though it was no doubt affirmation. We are alike, he and I. He is tonight’s designated driver. Delta’s passed out in the backseat and when I look back to him he looks like a little kid and I laugh hahahaHaaAHaAaa!!

  The lights are hypnotic, blinking at us from the middle of the road, sucked under our car like it were a vacuum consuming the asphalt inch by inch, five million inches an hour, fourteen hundred per second. Even when I’ve drowned them in whiskey my noodles still work at a mind numbing capacity. I bring my hand back in from the window, still clasping the bottle, and drink some more and try my best to switch off without shutting down completely.

  The tape in the cassette player stops rewinding with a click but neither of us make a move to hit play. We’ve heard Omega’s vinyl transfer of Abbey Road three times already today, broken up only with Delta’s Bat Out Of Hell tape which infuriatingly cuts out halfway through Paradise By The Dashboard Light, prompting groans from the lot of us each and every time it happens. It’s like we totally forget it’s coming. For a bunch of brains we sure are dumb. 

  There’s a light up ahead and I squint to make out the neon sign of a PitStop gas station speeding towards us.
  “Woo!” I yell, stirring Delta in the process, “I’ve needed to pee for an hour,”
  “Why didn’t you say anything?” Omega asks.
  “What, so you can pretend not to watch me as I do it in the bushes? Chyea’right.”
The car slows, turns in to the empty lot and finally stops beside a pump. I grab my bag from between my legs and dance out of the vehicle, placing the bottle of Jack Daniels on the hood as I do so. I zig-zag my way towards the light so bright it stings my retinas just to look at directly. It’s a beacon in an otherwise pitch night, the cat’s eyes from the road all dead and lifeless.

  There’s only a couple of aisles in the store, but they have their priorities straight. Junk food and toiletries. I grab a box of tampons; a brand I don’t know but which comes highly recommended by the ecstatic woman on the front of the box – I can’t help but think she looks like she needs something else inside of her – and head up to the counter. Behind it is the only other soul in the entire building; a freckle-faced teen reading a skin magazine with delusions of literary value. His eyes flick up to me as I approach and then to the box in my hand. I think he’s just being a little creep, scrutinizing the product I’m about to plunge into myself, until he says “six-ninety-nine”

  I’m so surprised by this display of eidetic prowess that I’m stunned into asking stupidly where the bathroom is, ignoring his demand completely.

  “Lady,” he says “you gotta pay for that shit before you stick it in.”

  “Of course,” I say, flushing redder than my face already is and reaching into my bag. I scrabble with the loose change that lines it’s leather floor and grab a handful that feels about seven bucks. I bring it out and drop it across the counter, freckles and I putting an end to any rogue coins potential escape with our fingers, his far more accurate than mine. A couple of fugitives cross the border and plummet to the floor and I glance down, value them quickly and decide they’re not worth the awkward movement it would take to pick them up. I stand there for a moment, unsteady, waiting. Freckles doesn’t say anything when he’s finished counting, instead simply pushing a couple of coins back to me across the surface. I slide them into my bag along with the tampons as the door behind us jingles, my comrades walking in to pay for the gas and load up on snacks and supplies.

  “Over there,” Freckle’s says, ignoring Delta and Omega’s entrance, his eyes already back on the curvature of America’s latest piece of eye candy and blindly pointing towards the wall behind me. I turn on the spot and stumble towards it, brushing past the two without saying a word and pushing through the wood door beside the fridge.

  In the short time I take to re-emerge, everything has changed.


~ by Joseph Blame on July 29, 2010.

One Response to “Roadtrippin’”

  1. […] live for. The Thrill. AUTHOR’S NOTE: Well holy hell, this was a long time coming! The first part, Roadtrippin’, was one of the first stories I wrote on this site. Full circle or WHAT. Finally felt right, so I […]

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