late night


I’m sitting in the backseat, cramped behind my 6’4” brother who demands plenty of room in the front. He’s eating enough Subway to feed three people, while the 6” sandwich I struggled to consume lies ignored on the seat beside me. Perhaps when I said, “A little mustard,” she thought I meant as much mustard as possible. I wouldn’t want to touch it now, anyway. I could sit in the middle, or behind my equally tall grandfather, but the unidentifiable stains on the seat are not appealing. There’s also inexplicably a log on the floor and several jackets, plus a coffee cup with a bit of tea, teetering dangerously every once in awhile but oddly never falling. Who knows how long it’s been there. My grandparents know how to make a mess.

My brother just began asking me inane questions; I’m sure my mother pestered him into it. She’s always doing that, trying to force us into communication. That’s not a bad thing, but he generally just ends up being outrageously rude to me, and I feel too bad to make fun of his pathetic existence. My grandfather asks questions as well, maybe really wanting to know, maybe just thinking it’s something he should do. He’s nice though, my grandfather. Maybe you’d like him. Normally he doesn’t talk a lot, so this is a little strange.

There, they’ve stopped asking me questions. Of all the people to pick me up, my brother and grandfather were the last two I thought I’d see. I guess they were the only ones who weren’t busy. I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll ever get there. The road from Tucson to Phoenix is long, in my head Maricopa is even further but that’s not true. It’s closer and my mom tells me again and again how much easier it’s going to be to drive there. Great, Mom. Oh, we just passed a sign. Five more miles. Thank God. I guess this is kind of my last night in a place that’s never even felt like home.


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