Saturday, May 5, 2007

Chapter Nineteen: Teen

Todd has wishes. One wish was to have a wonderful reader to wow the Lit Snob crowd every week. This week, Todd feared, his wishes would not be granted.

"Tonight," Todd announced, "we have a new talent with us. Lily Markland has come to read her piece recently published in the high school literature journal Euterpe. Please give a warm welcome to Lily." Todd breathed in heavily and waited for her to begin.


and in the night, the white broken lines of the road whiz past them in a continuous way. the interior of the car is illuminated in indigo dashboard light and the occasional lamp that flickers by on the never ending trip.

the first night:
on the way west they stop at the first of near a million highway gas stations. she elects to leave the dark microcosm of their ’93 toyota in favor of a relieved bladder. the white lights of the mobile are blinding. her pupils dilate, retract to pinpoints in record timing. it is a little past twelve am and there is an old woman at the register. the restroom is just clean enough, white tile, and white stalls. she cranks a tampon from the old paint chipping metal machine. when she doesn’t buy anything the old woman at the counter is not surprised. customers electing to eat their own week old granola bars and other road trip finery.

back in the car the ac is purring with a sub-artic feel. she curls up in the back seat.

the second night:
there was a giant elephant with pink room insides in a small new jersey town. roadside attractions were back in style with the revival of the notion of america. yesterday npr had done a segment about people who live in caravans. nomads, going as the dark highways took them, never settling down to lead the ‘normal’ life.

she imagined that they were nomads in the black toyota, changing the face of america as they passed graceland and national parks with a ‘whoosh!’.

the third day:
food for the day had consisted of two chocolate covered boxed doughnuts, and she was starting to feel a little ill. dany in the drivers seat had elected for a massive all day drive without the comforts of food or facilities. the shoulder made a good toilet, unaffected by the more natural side of things. a modern day hippy without the political convictions of the day.

sean had been complaining the day away for lack of soda cans and green beans. tossing black rooted gold strands from his eyes and commenting again on the need for pepsi in a civilized america.

now, sean sat in the back seat, carefully stroking her hair as her head rested on his chest, occasionally ducking to brush his lips up against the mocha strands.

the fourth day:
despite her lack of feeling regarding what she personally called ‘the elvis matter’ they had toured graceland. it was a southern style mansion with the tacky press denoted ‘jungle room’, large living rooms, and bedrooms. elvis always had peanut butter in his fridge, the guide had informed them. and ice cream. a dressed up home to impress upon ma and pa the fact that you really have made it. there had been little mention of elvis being anything other than dead. ufo’s and extra-terrestrials
were left out of it, and for that she was glad.

the fourth night:
she craves a shower the way pregnant woman need chocolate, and insistes that since dany had gotten his way about the dearly departed elvis, she would have her way about the best western.

water felt like something divine. sean pontificated on the quality of pepsi versus coke, until she pointed out that over 90% of the ingredients were the same and that his desire for the former of the two was tied into advertising and britney spears, at which time sean fell silent.

dany and sean argued over who got the second bed. despite his high spirits during there long drive, dany desired a good bed as much as any of them, but sean won out in the end with some argument where he quoted milton and the bible in the same sentence whist invoking satan be there need. dany consented to the brilliance of such a run on and thus a night of exile from all things comfortable.

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