Road Trip

by Glen Binger

I'm sitting in a burned out skeletal frame of an old Cadillac on the side of Route 66 just outside of Kansas. Back home in New York State my sister is explaining to my mother that Jack Kerouac convinced me to run away even though he's been dead for years. They're both crying and I can somehow sense it through the warm summer rain soaking through my clothes. “I'm sorry,” I say to the crusty dashboard. But they can't hear me.

An eighteen wheeler drives by. I think about Thanksgiving two years ago and how my dad passed away three weeks before. Now, here I am in the dead center of the country, separated from the two people that need me most. “I am just trying to live,” I tell them before I walked out the door with a backpack full of sandwiches and a wallet stuffed with my lifesavings. That was five months ago. Then, the tears on my shoulder didn't mean anything to me. But now, now they are burning holes through my skin. I messed up big-time.

If I had a phone or some money left I would call home. If I knew how to hotwire a car, I would drive home. I possess neither of those options. Instead, I'm left to think about my mistake while trying to discover the ability to fly. It makes me tired.

Just as I lay down to fall asleep in my mellowing depression, the sun-shower stops. I open my eyes to see if I've grown wings, but become disappointed to realize I haven't. So I stand up and start walking northeast in hopes of finding someone to hitch a ride with before nightfall.