Friday, April 9, 2010

Better

My flash fiction piece 'Better' appears in this season's issue of 63 Channels. It is no longer available online. Here is the piece.

It was the second my fist closed over the stick shift that I knew things would be better back west. Just had to get west, had to go sunset, go Pacific, full tanks of gas and running on fumes and coffee filter power. Things had to be better there. State lines fixed everything. So drive, all engines drive girl, I kept saying to myself, drive.

And I knew that all my friendlies and happys would be there, standing in the front of all the yards, behind the gates of the front doors. And I knew that drive in would be wall papered by everyone waving at me welcome home with sandals on and no coats in sight. All the clinics would be wreathed and garland covered and smelling of rose water and lavender oil, and all the nurses there holding fresh white linens would join hands with the preachers of the all inclusive churches and beckon me back.

No more stares, ever again. No more fish stickers on the back bumpers of pickup trucks, no more revival drums coming from the mouths of blue haired church ladies and their decomposing husbands. No more notes pushed under the door of my apartment, telling me about damnation and showing me pictures of what the baby must have looked like, that’s what they keep calling it, not an embryo or a fetus but a full blown, thumb having baby. No, just a couple more state lines and then I could see what waited for me there.

Ticker tape would fall, it would happen for sure I could see it, like war was over day, like troops back from the front day. And endless marching bands would snake down palm tree lined boulevards, and movie stars would put their arms around the hobos and sigh together, “She’s back, thank god, lets call it for good this time.”

There would be horns blaring and keys to the city waiting, chocolate foil gift baskets on the laps of Chanel mommys. Gay pride parades would simultaneously erupt beneath rainbow flagged balconies, floats would construct themselves out of gutter water and wind blown newspapers. The tides would start to lap faster, like the tongue of a happy puppy, all of it echoing “welcome back friend, welcome back,” with music blaring from the eighteens in the backs of the whips and my whole skull filled with my smile shaped jaw.

Soon the desert would give way. I’d come too far to stop, no hitch hikers thanks you, no motel rooms
thank you, only west for me from here on out forever. The desert would give way to hills, and finally the

concrete embrace of all those million miles of house and street, and all the corner taco stands burning like eternal

flames.

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