Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Road trip with Margret

We had been rushing around all day, Margret and I. We began the day at the High School Commune, with a lot of people I didn't expect I'd ever see again, but there they were, all together again. The Commune was like a giant tree house, with clothes and blankets strewn all over the place, three-walled rooms built haphazardly, over grown plants and destroyed side walks. But unlike the roof and fences, the energy there didn't flag; everyone was happy and ran around, taking care of their shit, taking care of each other. The archetypal commune, I guess. For some reason, we couldn't stay there, and because of all those kids from high school, I have to admit I didn't want to. All that teenage anxst came back, even though I don't think any one recognized me. I didn't have to suffer through it now; I could just leave.

So we were driving, Margret and myself, in a massive black SUV (is that how we managed to escape the energy efficient, self-sustaining tree house?). We stopped to get gas and all of a sudden, it was dark out. I guess when you're on the road for so long, nights and days creep up on you. We reached an urban area a little after we filled up; I must have zoned out as we cruised through the suburban sprawl, because we found ourselves in the heart of some city. In the middle of the night, it was dark enough to conceal anything that might threaten you, but only just. The shadows, a neon light, casting a red glow over the side of a building, alley ways with stagnant puddles and trash- I half expected Batman to show up. Wouldn't have been unwelcome.

Stop here- said Margret.


I have a job. Don't worry, this won't take long.


I must've stopped because she got out of the car before I could say anything else. As she turned to jump down to the steaming pavement, I saw that she looked different than she had at the gas station- she was heavier, but she didn't look bad. Her clothes were trendier and she'd put on a bunch of shiny makeup, bright red lipstick. How long had we been driving?

I saw a guy walking toward her from... I don't know where, I guess he had been behind one of the dumpsters, or come out from a nondescript back door. She smiled big when she saw him, like they were old friends. Inside the car, the sounds outside were muffled but, I heard her say -Hiiii!- and start chattering as they walked arm and arm into the shadows. I knew she wouldn't be long. I knew what she was doing, although I didn't know why or how long this had been going on or when the hell she'd had the time to set this up. I sat back and waited for it to start raining.

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