In Savannah, TN, everyone went to the bowling alley, Bowl 300. It was all there was to do. Some kids had burnt down the movie theatre by not tending the popcorn machine and that was that. There was, also, Gurley’s Gas station where loitering was considered a past-time, not a crime. The owner, Mrs. Gurley had a few guys tote some patio furniture from Thrift Stop to put in front of the store. Two retired veterans became regulars, playing cards at one of the glass top tables for hours a day. Mrs. Gurley would playfully pretend to sweep them away, saying, “It’s time to clean this place up, get this rubbish on ‘outta here,” and then they’d all laugh.
My two boy cousins, Joe n’ Samuel, were top notch bowlers, the youngest Samuel, was in his prime. He was really feeling himself, too, being good looking, a senior in High school, and having a long-time girlfriend who believed he really did hang the moon.
Joe, three years older than Samuel, was busy pinning after his ex-wife Rachel, who had packed up and left him a few months back. She had enough of his shit, she had said, storming out of their trailer, and down the road to her Mommy and Daddy’s house who had a place a half mile up the property. It was said they swung the front door wide open when they saw her coming up the driveway. Joe went back to his Mama’s house, saying it was the worst day of his life.
Jenny, my oldest cousin at twenty-eight, had a wreck seven years back that took her off the beauty pageant stage and onto disability roll. She was getting along well though, despite it all. That night even wearing her lips a full red, and a padded bra that pushed her breast up and over a tight crop top. She walked funny, talked funny, and her mind wasn’t quite all there, but she was still pretty.
Me, just turning twenty-one, came from Memphis to stay with them awhile—running away from childhood abuse—to include my aunt Carrie (their “Mama”) a spell. We all lived, in that eclectic way, in a big blue house off Cherry Top road. The house being all Carrie had left after a divorce from a man who loved Vodka a lot.
They called me ‘Memphany’ considering my accent ‘ghetto’ though I didn’t talk all that different from them. They seemed to think Memphis was a whole world away, though it was only—and still is—three hours away.
That night at the alley, my eyes lingered on Justin, and the way his thick black hair fell over dark brown eyes. He was the small town weed dealer, driving an a El Comino lowered to the ground with rims. It was a stick shift and he had taught me to drive it a few weeks ago. But tonight, he had another girl on his arms, acting as if we had never held hands or looked into each other’s eyes. Later, she would become his wife (and he ended up in prison for murder), but that night, she taught me of the power of envy, looking like she had just stepped off the pages of some glamour magazine: Tall, tan, wearing a belly shirt to show off a small waist and slender legs.
All I could do was look at the girl, asking my cousin Jenny, “How the hell does someone look that good?”
She smirked. “Justin’s a hottie.”
“No, the girl he brought here,” I said, annoyed.
Jenny looked over at the girl, saying, “I am p..p..prettier than that,” so sure of herself. Jenny and I sat, not being any good at bowling, musing like that over a pitcher of beer and cigarettes, watching them play. Samuel had gotten a new bowling ball a few days back and, of course, was winning. Some big girl Lizzy kept making eyes at Joe, and she, too, joined in the game, sharing nachos with Joe; Joe loved anything that came with cheese. The two would later marry.
Boredom sat at my and Jen’s table, and we were itching for something else. We got up and started walking around, played a game of pool, ordered fries, and while waiting, we looked in the claw machine full of stuffed animals. It was a staple at the bowling alley usually drawing the attention of kids begging, or couples obligating conditional love. Just three weeks ago, I had won Justin a teddy bear.
A pink unicorn caught Jenny’s eyes, and we tried to play for it but no luck. That’s when someone we had seen around—but had never talked too—walked up. He was an older man, tall, late 30’s with a shirt perfectly starched, cowboy boots, and a belt buckle of a silver buffalo—and a warm face. Even the lines around his eyes were soft.
“You ladies need my help?” he asked, in a voice devoid of inflection.
Jenny whispered in her broken voice, “Y…yeah, yeah we do. We want that pink uni...unicorn.” She pointed her finger to a fantasy icon slumped over Pokémon. Not the slightest embarrassment of having to beg.
The man slid a shiny new quarter in the machine and with a few taps, the pink unicorn slid into the opening tray. It was Jenny’s.
“You want something?” He asked me.
“I’m okay,” I said, not really knowing what I’d do with a stuffed animal, anyways.
“I win these things all the time. I got bags of them at home. Literally, bags of them. Just something I do,” he said.
Before it was all said and done, Jenny and I were headed to the man’s house. Joe n’ them said we didn’t know the guy from Adam or Eve. They said we didn’t need to be going over there, but Jenny told them she was going to live her life.
They told her that’s how the wreck happened, and she said, “You weren’t there. God kept me alive, so I could live my life.” She didn’t stutter saying it either, as she usually did when speaking.
I didn’t really want to go but what else did I have to do—stare at Justin, wondering how he had forgotten me so quick. He didn’t ask me to stay. No, he told Joe n’ them to let us do what we wanted. I almost hoped the man with the buffalo belt buckle killed us to spite him.
When we got to his house, I was surprised to see how clean and tidy it was, noting scented candles sitting on lemon polished tables. He told us he was a writer by day and a welder by night. He said he wrote children’s stories, even showing us two books that he had published. One was about a dust bunny who had come to life to teach children the value of friendship. The other was about a kernel of corn that became a piece of popcorn. They seemed silly but there they sat; Two real books in his hands with pictures and everything. He said his brother had done the illustrations and the front cover bared their names.
He said he went to church twice a week and was looking for a good woman to marry. Jenny nor I knew what to say about any about that, and a rueful silence made us look around at nothing. That’s when he ran over to a closet, pulling out yard sized trash bags.
He began ripping the bags wide open, in an energy that seemed foreign on him, saying, “I got tons of these animals, pick whichever one you want.”
Jenny laughed, and I, squatting down to sit on the heels of my feet, rocked back. “Wow.”
“Come on, pick something,” he said, throwing animals everywhere
Jenny was picking up several of the stuffed animals piling them in her arms, saying she could give them to her babies. She had two children she rarely saw.
I picked up an orange seahorse. “I like this one,” I said, definitively, with a righteous intention towards monogamy.
The man smiled big. “It’s yours, he said.”
And it dawned on me, the sadness of it; A man with all these stuffed animals, and not a soul to give them too, except us—strangers. Jenny was gun ready to leave after she couldn’t fit any more of those dinosaurs, bears, or lambs in her arms, and so we left.
I turned back as we were walking out, seeing him gather the soft bodies into a neat pile, his face bent to the ground.
Sixteen Years Later:
Robert, one of William’s friends, took us to the train station. We were headed to see my kinfolk. Joe n’ them. That’s how other family members referred to them. They were all in Minnesota now, having all followed each other, nearly ten years ago, now. I thought about that as we rode in the back of Robert’s SUV while his dog, Scooter, rode in a basket in the front seat.
Robert patted the creature with a fat hand, saying, “If the apocalypse comes, I’ll put him on a spick and eat him,” with endearment, joking, of course.
That’s seemed to be the way about him; a warm, spirited soul. Someone I wanted to know better. I would later learn he had the capacity to wound me more than most people—and wound he did, leaving me to wish fitfully that I had never known him, and at the same time, unable to imagine never knowing him; The hypocrisy of the heart.
I sat back in the seat and tried to remember how long it had been since I had seen Joe n’ them. If you saw one, you saw the other. They stayed together. That was the way about them. The last I could remember; it was when Grandma died, nearly five years ago now.
Memphis To Chicago
It was in the train car that first hour when I finally made up my mind to leave William. Of course, that wasn’t the first time I had that feeling. It felt different that time though. Nothing lied between us but contempt, the sex even gone, and I thought that’d never happen. It was the last of our glue to lose its stick. In that small space of windows, and beds I longed for someone to wrap their arms around me, peer out the window with me, even him, but he just went on about how wrong I was about this thing or that. In his eyes, I was wrong about everything.
I wanted someone who could look at me through rose colored glasses, see me as a pink rose, and even if un-bloomed, they knew how to slowly peel open my layers, and thoughtfully so. I pulled out my stuffed orange Seahorse and held it. I would have to show Seahorse to Jenny, asking if she remembered the man with all the stuffed animals.
I’d tell William when we got back home that I was DONE. I’d have to forget the dandelions along the way, the ones covered in soot, stomped down to the mud. Defiled. I yield always, whether I desire or not, to resentment. Perhaps this is a universal trait, one hinting at the fallibility of humans.
William just didn’t love me enough, love me like Skin Horse was loved in The Velveteen Rabbit, so loved was the horse, it had worn him to beautiful.
Almost to Chicago
Sitting in the lounge car of the New Orleans, train car 58, I stared out of the large windows. Everything looked bland as we passed through small Illinois towns making our way to its windy city. Rusty steel structures, white-washed houses, country roads, car lots, speedways, concrete bridges, and a new school—with a small playground and then, here and there, in the midst of all that mundane—vibrant trees of oranges, yellows, and reds, with their leaves sprinkled like flakes of peeled paint under twisted, wooden crowns.
It’s is the kind of beauty that keeps me going.
Chicago to St. Paul
We traveled through Wisconsin. I relished the tall trees, wiry and bare against a backdrop of lakes and rivers, ducks paddling in a cold pond, and a long ago abandoned restaurant—only it’s skeleton frame left—much like those wiry trees, only the man-made structure will never return to grace. There were lots of stones, and rocks, and those fall-colored trees, the ones with leaves still; they really draw the eye, don’t they? This time, a crimson red maple splashed in front of a baby blue farmhouse seized my soul.
We dined with an elder couple, the wife going on and on about this or that. She spoke about the time when she saw Mt. Helen “burp.” She explained that a burp was a sort of an eruption, but not quite. Her husband said it had happened early on a Sunday morning, under a bright sky. They both described looking up, noticing a fast-moving grey cloud at Godspeed. They realized it was ash, and soon it fell like a thick blanket over their small town, turning the blue skies dark, thunder came, then lightening. They said the horses next door, in a state of fear, had beat their hoofs against the ground, but it was no use. It wouldn’t be until sunset that the smoke cleared. The next day, the wife said you could see thousands of trails in the cinder, made from the feet of ants, beetles, and other bugs trying to weasel their way through a new Earth of ash.
Carrie, my aunt, called. “Tiff, I wish you were comin’ under different circumstances. I really hate for you to see us like this.”
“I don’t mind how I see you, and them. I just want to see you.”
Carrie said Joe was pulling on the phone to tell me something, so she gave the phone to him. It took me three times to understand him, but finally I heard him. “Hey, Tiff, how are you?”
I stared out the train’s window. “Oh, just sittin’ on this train, you?”
“I got a few teeth missing now, and I’m up to one-ninety. I just don’t want you to think of me different when you see me,” he blurted out.
“Oh, well, we are what? Both thirty-seven, now. Age isn’t pleasant. It’s fucked us both, I’m sure.”
“Well, I had that stroke, you know.”
“Yeah, I wanna get back into the gym and get to fightin’ again,” he said, and I could almost see the strain of despair.
“I know y'all used to always look up to me and all, especially your brother Tony.”
“Well, Tony done got fat, too. He’s got a spare tire.”
“Oh, he has?” Joe asked.
“Joe, our bodies are temporary. They fall apart. I love y’all and I don’t care what y’all look like.”
And I meant that, wholeheartedly. My curiosity was drawn, too. What would I see when I got there? And I thought about our bodies. Remembered how I used to have a flat stomach. Now, it was squishy like a milk-soaked donut, and there wasn’t anything I could seem to do about it except wear big shirts.
Almost to Minnesota
Suffering from a bad migraine (the result of having a bad bite), I forced myself to sleep until Minnesota.
10:03PM St. Paul Minnesota, A Wednesday Night
I met Minnesota two hours from midnight, and she was bitter cold with a frigid stare. Joe n’ them pulled up in a beat-up Mitsubishi SUV, and inside I found warmth, refuge from that chilled gaze. Lizzy, Joe’s wife of ten years now, was driving. My aunt Carrie was in the passenger seat, and Joe and his son Jimmy, sat in the back with William and me. Jenny was missing in action. They said she had run off again. Carrie—riddled with diabetes—looked like a small skeleton wearing pajama pants and an old coat, her skin hanging on bones like wet rags over a dish pan.
“Carrie, I knew you had lost weight, but not this much,” I said, giving her the best hug I could from the back seat.
Feeling her bones in my hands, I cringed. She looked at me, resembling a poor unfortunate soul from Disney’s The Little Mermaid, and I couldn’t resist turning away. I wanted to blink and see my aunt Carrie as I had remembered her, in her prime. Her bleached blonde hair, tanned skin, cowgirls’ boots, long painted nails, leather saddle purses and gum; she was always popping spearmint gum. Jimmy, six, attached at the hip of his father, sported a mohawk cut.
Joe said Jimmy had a lightning bolt cut into the side not long ago, saying, “he’s fast.”
Lizzy exerted a contagious confidence, wearing gray sweats and an orange pull over. Originally from Minnesota, Lizzy’s accent was thick. She wasn’t the big girl chasing after Joe in Savannah anymore, catching him between bowling games. She had him, and he wasn’t going anywhere.
The hotel they were living in wasn’t bad—not at all. I had pictured a run-down Motel Inn, off some damp road with potholes. The place was nice, though, with a big lobby, a breakfast area, and spacious, cozy rooms. William was adamant on us having our own room. After all it was five of them—sometimes more—living in one double queen-bed room.
When they led us to their room, I could see with my own eyes, the steepness of their fall. A fall I knew intimately, in different ways, at different times. A fall we all must make, lest we become narcissistic. The room was cluttered with the contents of their not-so-recent eviction from their home: Boxes sat stacked; baskets piled on top of one another. Papers, clothes, food, candy wrappers, pill caps, coke bottles, and other unsorted trash cluttered the floor. Every inch of counter space was covered in stacks of files, food, dishes, clothes, and whatnot. Trash cans overflowed; ash trays were toppled over. A stench of vomit, cigarette smoke and disease hung in the air like a medical blanket.
Joe, Lizzy, and Jimmy shared one bed, to the left of the room, closest to the bathroom, while Carrie, and Jenny shared the other. A pull-out bed laid at the end of Carrie’s bed, for Joe and Lizzy’s two older girls (when they came down from Cambridge) or Samuel, who visited often. Everywhere, in the trash, on countertops, and the floor were scattered little plastic bottles—like baby bottles, with the remnant of a pink liquid in them. I picked one up. Methadone from Valhalla Medical Center a taped label read. Valhalla, I thought. Carrie had told me they were all on it, now, going every morning to the clinic to get their doses. I wondered, was Valhalla really a dose away?
Joe took the limelight—as is his personality to do—at the corner of his hotel bed wearing cheap Wal-Mart sweats, shirtless, with Lizzy sitting behind him, smiling; all these years and he still made her smile. With her face wide, dimples in rosy cheeks, she looked like a cherub. Joe kept us entertained with jokes and stories, rocking up and off the bed in animation. He was one of those people that could recall a trip to the gas station, something as mundane as that, and make it hilarious. Charisma, he always had it, with a touch of warmth, making him one of the best people I know.
That was the liveliest I would see him while I was there. For most of my few days there, he would be asleep. The room was kept dark, only the light of a cell phone shining on the face of his small child, neglected. Lizzy, the only one working, did doubles at Wal-Mart. When Joe was awake, he would spend most of it bent over a small plastic trash can, throwing up, apologizing he wasn’t more fun to be around. He said he was diagnosed with something called Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome after the stroke, and I didn’t have reason to doubt him. Carrie slept a lot too, with heating pads on her legs, legs riddled with neuropathy.
That night, I asked again about Jenny, and they all said she had run off a few days ago with some man. They said this is something she did. It must be hard living five deep in a hotel room and running off made sense, I thought.
I curled into my own queen bed, late. William and I had the luxury of a room with double queen-sized beds; I felt lonely. William laying in the other bed asked, “Aren’t you gonna come sleep over here with me?”
“I think I’ll stay here,” I said, knowing I had found the quilt from which I was cut, and was cut off with jagged tugs. I couldn’t help but think of Joe’ n them all piled together. Short on space, but they were together and here I had a whole bed to myself, feeling completely alone. Which was worse, I wondered; Too crowded, or just you?
And usually, William pleading in that small voice was enough for me. I would crawl over to him, tuck under covers, and scrap some of the warmth he offered with greed, but it wasn’t enough that night. I slept with envy in my heart. Even addicts, living in abject poverty knew how to love, and had it. Lizzy still smiled at Joe’s silly banter, and no matter the cause, she would stand by him, against all odds, all foes, while the man calling my name would betray me for bystanders on the street.
He already had. What a fool I was for still being with him.
We all went swimming at the hotel’s indoor pool. It was a place I would frequent while on the trip, loving the feel of water on my skin. Water does not judge, it simply wraps itself around every curve, every crevasse and holds.
The pool was housed in a large room with impressive walls, large planks of real wood. There was also a sauna, and a hot tub. That night we lounged in the hot tub, William and Joe making conversation. Lizzy waded, wearing a dark blue one-piece with small white dots. The top was open in the front revealing two full breasts tucked. Carrie rolled her walker to the edge of the tub and sat down listening to us chatter.
Jimmy, my young nephew, used my goggles to dive up and down for pennies Joe had thrown on the tub floor.
It amazed me how quiet Carrie sat here. I knew what that felt like. To have life stomp the voice right out of your mouth. She didn’t even bother putting her teeth in, her lips disappearing into her face.
It wasn’t long, though, before Joe got sick to his stomach, again, and they all cleared out. I sat with William, alone, reading, ‘No Country for Old Men,’ wondering where the dialogue tags were, thinking Corman McCarthy was just another man with the privileged assumption that rules didn’t apply to him. I fell headfirst, though, into those long monologues, like dry ground taking up rainwater.
“…Because a lot of the time ever when I say anything about how the world is goin to hell in a handbasket people will just sort of smile and tell me I’m getting old. That’s it’s one of the symptoms. But my feelin about that is anybody can’t tell the difference between rapin and murderin and chewin gum has got a whole lot bigger of a problem than what I got…”
Samuel, my other cousin, would be up to join us soon, he had said. He had called, telling us to expect him around midnight. I waited up. He came in with bags of food for everyone, and a collection of movies. Jimmy, who had been sitting in a corner with his father’s phone, jumped off and ran to Samuel, not even seeing where the phone fell.
Samuel grabbed him up, “Hey, Tiff. Long time no see,” and with that our precarious hate and love for one another began it’s routine. Familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt, sometimes it tempers it, I thought.
“Nice to see you, Samuel.”
He nodded, with a smirk.
Joe slept, too sick to be awake, he had said.
Carrie sat on the edge of the bed staring at a cheap burner phone, worried about Jenny. “Wish she’d call me. Wish she’d just call me.”
Samuel, Jimmy, and I sat on the floor, playing the card game, Memory. William had taught Jimmy how to play the game a few days before. It had now the kid’s favorite thing to do. I felt sorry for the kid, living in a hotel room with a bunch of drugged out adults. Being that he was six, he should be in school. I knew that; we all did.
Samuel made funny faces, and voices as he played the game, keeping Jimmy engaged and laughing. Jimmy looked up to him as I had looked up to my uncles. My uncles were fun like Samuel was with Jimmy. If Samuel slammed down one of the cards, in a playful tantrum, Jimmy did the same. If Samuel curled his lip up and talked funny, Jimmy would laugh and try to do the same.
I watched Samuel, too. It had been years since I had seen him last. And here, now, those years were all carved on his face, giving him the look of his father, with thick folds on his cheeks and forehead. He had just gone through a nasty divorce and was “flappin’ like a fish outta water,” he had told me earlier, as he, too, turned up one of those baby bottles, looking for Valhalla.
“When you get started on that?” I had asked.
“Joe got me on it. Told me it’d help me quit the drinkin—which it did.”
He had said all this so matter-of fact, spitting a wad of dip into a Styrofoam cup, reminding me of Heath Ledger's character from Broke Back Mountain; Rugged, stoic. I couldn’t help but remember him in his youth. I could see the steepness of his fall, from the horse he used to perch so high on, and yet, he still talked a good game, about this and that, about getting his life right, but you could see it in his eyes; he was just kicking dirt. Aren’t we all?
Samuel woke up early, wanting something to do. Anything but sit. He packed Jimmy up, and William and I followed them like puppies for a walk. Nothing special. Just a walk around the main road the hotel sat on, but before we could make it out of the parking lot, Jimmy cried to go back inside. I pictured him withering in that dark hotel room, scooted next to Joe. I told him Jimmy it was good for him to get some sunlight, but he insisted, and Samuel walked him back to the room.
Snow covered the ground, making our walk on the sides of the main road precarious. I didn’t think it was a good idea to walk against the direction of traffic, and went to the other side of the road, calling for them to join me, but neither did. I called William to walk with me, but he walked with Samuel, who was still talking a blue streak about getting his life right, about how Joe was just digging his own grave, and never would amount to anything if he didn’t take Samuel’s advice.
I noticed the leaves on the trees, and the way snow smothers.
I felt the weight of my soon departure. Joe sat up on the bed again, this time in slow amination with a bowl of chicken noodle soup. We talked about movies, me saying, “I love Napoleon Dynamite.”
“Now, Tiff, don’t say that. Don’t say you like that weird ass movie?” Joe said, playfully.
“What, I love it—William likes it too.”
William turned to look at us. Joe’s mouth remained open in playful shock.
“I don’t like that movie.” William said, with the ease of a knife slicing cucumbers. A clean cut, and a lie. I knew he liked the movie.
“Your lying, William. We saw it together. You said you liked it.”
“Tiff, nobody likes that damn movie but…but maybe some…some…feminist.” Joe said, exaggerating the words feminist, corrupting it, as if it were a crime to be such a thing.
“That I am,” I said, smugly, while William nodded in agreement with Joe. Only Joe was trying to be funny, and William was being cruel—as usual.
Joe slapped his leg. “Well now what’d I say?”
I laughed at Joe. He held his mouth open again for effect and then took to eating his soup. It was so good to see him smile.
“You’re one of my favorite people, Joe. I tell everybody that. How you are one of the best people. You can ask anyone, I tell them. Joe is the best, and I mean that. “
He looked at me, with those small eyes, like beads on a teddy bear. “I appreciate you saying that Tiff. I really do.”
“I say it cuz’ I mean it.”
Empire Builder to Chicago From St. Paul
Leaving was hard. Carrie’s legs, weak from neuropathy, made it hard for her to ride to the station, so I had told her bye as she lay in bed: white sheets, pillows and two heating pads wrapped around her legs. I had wrapped her tiny frame in my arms, nearly raising her off the bed, feeling as if she were but a child. She called herself a child of God, and I wondered where God was when she needed him. I cried, “This will be the last time I see you won’t it?”
“Just pray for me. Please pray for me,” she had said.
On the way to the station, I held Jimmy in my lap and petted him like a cat. I told him how special he was. I told Samuel he was a good uncle, that I was rooting for him, and that I loved him. I told Joe the same. After Lizzy helped us pull our luggage from the trunk, I hugged her. She giggled a good-bye, in her contagiously happy-go-lucky way.
St. Paul Train Station
Waiting in line to get on the train, William struck up a conversation with a couple from San Francisco. They were an odd pair, but not. She was a sophisticated black woman with grace and charm, him a reserved German immigrant, with a pot belly. A real potbelly. I could tell she was someone William would like. She was dressed well, traveled for work, talked about climate change, politics, and the like.
I stood there, awkwardly, with a snowsuit that I had purchased from goodwill. Its straps were broken and tied in the back. To add to this absurdity were rainbow colored rubber boots and a purple hat. I’ve never traveled outside the USA, except for a few ports on a cruise boat, and I’m not career oriented, nor do I smile brightly.
They were all going on about something Trump said about the wildfires in California, when I blurted out, “I don’t care about the people getting hurt in those fires. We did it. It’s the non-human animals I’m worried about. They are the innocents in all this.”
They all turned, looking at me as if I were the anti-Christ, herself. William, embarrassed, picked the conversation back up, smoothing out whatever blunder he, and they had perceived.
Minnesota to Chicago
A weak blanket of snow, tattered, like jailhouse covers, covered the terrain, passing over many lakes—some frozen solid with old tree stumps jutting like blades; trees even more locked in place, then a mint-colored trailer home, with a mint-colored shed in the back (too cute). The grandness of the Mississippi river flowed, making me think about how threaded we are; the Mississippi sits in the backyard of my house, and there it was—miles away—outside Amtrak’s window.
And then, on the banks of the Black river, water rushed to the shore, making the acquaintance of the cool air, creating coats of ice on the shore’s branches, rocks, and foliage. I thought about how we sometimes think we’re just passing through, but remain, like that water now frozen on wind and water whipped blades of grass, like fall leaves lying scattered on the tops of small ponds, frozen in place, abandoned by a gust of wind betraying its fare, all in wait of a sun promising melt--freedom.
Carrie called and I answered. “Tiff, they found Jenny.”
“Oh, where was she?” I asked, tugging Seahorse.
“She was down the road in some rinky-dink motel with some old man.”
“Yeah. Just glad she’s home.”
“Look, now. I love you. Don’t forget it.”
“I love you, too, Carrie. So much. I love all of y’all.”
Tiffany Lindfield is a social worker by day, trade, and heart working as an activist for climate justice, gender equality and animal rights. By night she is a prolific reader of anything decent, and a writer. https://www.tiffanylindfield.com/
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.