When she turned 18, it was time, she thought, to find it, a road, a path, somewhere, anywhere. So, she packed her duds in an overnight, stole what cash she could scrounge from her ma's secret hiding place in the shoebox behind the Christmas wrapping paper on top of the outdated People magazines growing mold in their attic, and set off—5:00 am, on foot, toward the Greyhound bus depot on 2nd and Main, trying to leave the house before her mom woke for a morning shift at the Sip and Suds convenience store slash laundromat slash icehouse. Her dad was long gone, having left for a one-night bender, fifteen years ago. Walking through the still-dark streets with only dogs wailing loneliness, moths swirling around lampposts anxiously, she laid low in the depot's restroom, then boarded the 7:15 am bus to Amarillo, heading north, her line of destiny, she thought, traveling the direct path toward a trade, maybe wealth, or at least something akin to $7 an hour plus tips, love, who knows, even marriage. Sitting on the bus’s back row, alone, on a brown vinyl seat cracked like drought-hard clay, she wrote a note to no one in her diary, decorated with rainbows and hand-penciled hearts. She was charting a life, the morning sun trailing her bus in shadows.
About the author
Steve Gerson writes poetry and flash about life's dissonance. He has published in Panoplyzine, In Parentheses, Vermilion, and more, plus his chapbooks Once Planed Straight; Viral; and the soon to be published The 13th Floor from Spartan Press.
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