Enhanced Gravity 73 cause the saline rivulets to trickle, transude, and seep. We are bonded again by a licentious disregard, for everything. I spend the remainder of the summer attached to Sam, following him on summer errands in his pickup. We are in diners at two in the morning, on our own schedule, Washington is completely ours. I sit in his pool house with the water reflecting all over the place and the sounds of Georgetown from all sides. The end of summer smells of decaying magnolia flowers competing with intermittent scents of garbage and exhaust fumes. The brick sidewalks, damp with humidity and moss, buckle above engorged tree roots. Sam plays the Band all the time. Bobby says, “Don’t let him play ‘Stage Fright,’ he gets the weirdest look on his face when he plays that song. That song, man, it’s deep. It’s all about isolation and fear and shit, right Sam?” Sam smiles a little, always indulgent of his little brother, lifts the stylus and puts it gingerly back to the beginning of the song. We smoke pot out of an immense red bong named Rosalita. I feel like we are squatters in Berlin. It is time for Sam to go back to college. I’m going to stay in Washington, exiled from college for a while, ensconced in my childhood home, trying to find my way. Sam says, “Come to Syracuse with me. You can wait tables and live with me in my group house. You will love my roommates.” I can’t go with Sam. I’m on a tight schedule with the shrink, after the handicapped bathroom stunt. We spend a final night together, quiet by the pool. I throw up the next morning, a symptom of my asyet-undiagnosed pregnancy. Sam’s pickup sits double-parked in front of his house, all packed and ready for his return to college. I lean on the open window of his truck, focusing on the fuzzy black substance at the base of the window that protects the glass. This is to keep from crying. I am in the process of loving Sam very much, his incongruities, long hair, fascination with motorcycles, endless banter, summer white smile, the half-finished mansion, and all the secret valuable things he said to me. Mostly, I love his unspoken acceptance.
Story I wrote about Tucumcari in an anthology of DC women's writers.