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December 19, 2009

Intersections

It was a cold day. The kind that hurt. The overpass was getting icy. Multiple train tracks ran underneath, curving together toward the horizon. On the other side of the highway the newlyweds drove their older-model Mercedes into the Hispanic neighborhood known as Tammerville. The sun was working its way down and the trees were already morphing into silhouette.
“What do you want for dinner?” she asked as she wrapped her tan coat tighter around her.
“I don’t really care. I just want to get the hell out of this part of town before it gets really dark,” he said tightening his grip on the steering wheel.
“At least people are honest here.”
“Honest?” he laughed, “Is that what you said?”
“Yes.”
“Do tell how you see that as being the case.”
“Well, unlike the people we know, these people are forced to confront life and reality. They can’t hide from the despair. They know what it is like to wake up every day knowing they have to keep pushing their rock back up the hill, even though it is completely futile. And they don’t get to sit down at the end of the day with a nice Delamain in a fifty-dollar glass that’ll break if you so much as look at it the wrong way.”
“Okay, I see where this is going.”
“Or fly off to some white sand island lapped by see-through water.”
“Right, I forgot you see having money as being dishonest. I mean, for heaven’s sake it allows you to enjoy life as opposed to gritting your teeth and earning your existence,” he said before pointing to two men standing on a street-corner with brown paper bags in their hand, “Yes, look at those earners. Pushing a rock with their bruised and bloodied shoulder.”
“You’re such an ass.”
“Just look at all this honesty. It’s almost more than a pretender like myself can absorb. I mean, right over there we have Anthony’s Image Hair Salon. And there, look, there is the Oasis of Grace Worship Center! Yes, I see it now. No hiding here.”
“Just stop it.”
“No escape. All truth. All good. Damn, why the hell do we have to be such liars?”
“I’m not a liar. I actually remember where I come from.”
“Well you certainly win the self-loathing gold star,” he said as he stopped at a red light.
She looked over at him, picked up her purse from the floorboard. “I need some time alone. I’ll take the bus and see you at home later.”
“Are you serious?”
She opened the car door and got out. She started walking east. A man who was heading in the opposite direction on the other side of the street yelled over, “Hey Muchacha! Wanna ride with me?”

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2009 3:15 pm

    It doesn’t bode well for these newlyweds, does it.

    Your story succinctly depicts two people who aren’t on the same page about life, money, and goals.

    Hope she doesn’t get in that car!

  2. December 19, 2009 3:17 pm

    Gritty dialogue, nothing held back between these two. Loved the ‘gold star of self-loathing’. This hits a nerve, in a very excellent way. A brave story, one that most everyone should hold up like a mirror. peace, Linda

  3. December 19, 2009 3:27 pm

    “It was a cold day. The kind that hurt,” it pulled me in and left me very uncomfortable…. just what writing should do.. stir the emotions…. thanks for sharing

  4. December 19, 2009 11:25 pm

    Yeah, they’re going in different directions, that’s for sure.

  5. December 20, 2009 3:28 pm

    Thank you all for reading and commenting. It’s always a relief to know the thing you’re trying to convey does not end up reading like it was an alien language. 😉

  6. December 21, 2009 4:16 pm

    They are certainly diverging – although perhaps they always did and that’s how they get their kicks…? Love is a many faceted thing 🙂
    The dialogue worked very well

  7. Deanna Schrayer permalink
    December 21, 2009 5:29 pm

    You showed their emotion so well it’s palpable Lou. Love the opening too. Great work!

  8. December 22, 2009 2:51 pm

    The beginning is so simple that it’s brillant. This is my first visit to your fiction, but I’ll be back!
    Well written!

  9. January 3, 2010 9:10 pm

    This was a great slice of life – the way people view money and who does (or doesn’t) have it is so telling, isn’t it? The nobility of poverty is a a compelling vision for people who aren’t poor.

    Well done, and it’s great to meet you!

  10. January 9, 2010 12:05 am

    Much appreciation for reading and commenting everyone.

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