Sunday, April 22, 2012

song of the open road

She poured his coffee and the steam rose. He was pleased, and he looked up at her just for a moment.
'I'm done roaming'. He lit a cigarette, and she wanted one bad herself.
'Oh'? she said disbelievingly. He sipped slowly and wiped his mouth on his sleeve. She pointed at a napkin two inches away.
'Coming off the road are you, vagabond?' This pleased him - vagabond - he'd never been called that before. It was like his nerve endings flared. 'You'll never leave that on-the-road kind of life. Speaking of the road', she continued, topping off his cup even though it was already at spill level, 'I had this dream of mis-judging a curve, pavement dry, and flinging through a guard rail into a pond, thrown from the car and flailing about, unable to retrieve my breath'.
'Oh', he replied familiarly, blowing across the top of the yellow porcelain cup, 'then what?' He blocked the approaching coffee pot with his left hand. She set it down on a square scorched-edge oven mitt.
She shook her head and smiled. 'You know dreams. It was just dark. I was looking at the stars in the sky. The belt of Orion. Strange - those stars are hurtling away from our Earth at enormous speed, yet Orion still has a thin waist'. She touched her own waist and looked at him, and he thought she was blushing now. She was silent in nostalgia. It began to rain hard and she looked out, and he turned to watch too just as sheets of water pummeled the window. He wondered if his windows were up.
'Go on,' he prodded, interested. She watched his exhaled smoke rise and continued watching as it climbed.
'I survive and I'm stretched out, doctors over me. And the only thing that's bothering me - I don't want them touching me 'cause I haven't any clean underwear on.' She poured and spilled coffee over the rim. She looked at him sideways and he was laughing.

magpie image by Alex Stoddard


Blogger Brian Miller said... mom always warned me about a wreck though, even if they were clean before they probably wont we once the car stops rolling...

4/22/2012 11:02 PM  
Blogger Tess Kincaid said...

I always read your Magpies out loud...this one especially charming Phil...thanks for the Monday morning smile...

4/23/2012 10:05 AM  
Blogger phil said...

You're welcome, Tess.
Thrilled you read it out loud.

4/25/2012 6:56 AM  
Blogger Helen said...

I enjoyed this ... especially when she called him 'Vagabond.'

4/25/2012 11:41 AM  
Blogger G said...

I always enjoy reading you, Phil. Thank you for this.

4/28/2012 12:22 AM  
Blogger phil said...

Me too, Helen.

Thanks, G.

4/28/2012 1:23 PM  

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