She is concentrating on the plan while he drives. They are
not talking.They are on that roadthe one with the airport
hanging indented at its end, now he holds her hand,
She is dreaming of something not earthly, something benign
and perfect. Something she can only envision by closing her
eyesmoist, they are now. Filling in each detail out
of that blackness, as if by hand. She paints in that darkness;
and her capacity for Great Wonder shepherds her awayif
only for that brief dreaming momentfrom the enormous
New Reality of their predicament.
He is smoking now, like always.
Behind them is a stack of first edition books. They make
the car seat a shelf; and they spill on and under the floor-mats,
dirty in the back seat. Also there are small white bags of
personalsdrug store bags for drug store items.
The bags have been tied tight at the top; by her this time
so as to avoid a repeat of an ugly scene like when they went
camping in Deception Pass: they were staying with the people
who had been her family and the mess had been ugly and ill-foughtdamn,
she thinks, were they ever pissed off at what they saw spill
out of those bags.
The window is down enough for him to rest his forearm at
least semi-naturally on it. He constantly flicks away the
ash of what might be his last cigarette, probably not.
She can't believe it. Right now.
As she thinks about it she can't believe she used to spend
her time worrying about his smoking.
Please quit, she used to say, it would mean so
much to me, to us.
She wishes she could care about that right now.
She decides that if a person who was already an adultone
who definitely knew betterwas to start smoking, was
to find some reason, well, it might be her, now.
You started smoking, they would say.
Then she would explain the reasonexplain thisand
they would either say nothing or nod their heads, in complete
agreement. She doesn't reach for a cigarette though, mostly
because she knows he needs them all.
She closes her eyes again, this time not thinking of anything;
instead just trying to focus on the plan.