Martin Brigden CC
We Were in it Together
We were in it together—
sandwiched in the back seat, six bodies hugging, Corona and Soma seeping through our sweat glands, weighing down the rear of a beat-up Honda Accord driving ninety miles per hour back to Tucson. The padding in our Victoria’s Secret bras, stuck to our perky barely legal breasts, wet from adrenaline and the Nogales heat, replaced with Ziploc bags. We were in it together, new best friends puffing on Camel Lights, inhaling lines of freedom off a Magnadoodle on my leopard print comforter while Bob Marley and Dave Matthews watched from the walls, the boy down the hall floating in a Ketamine hole so deep the sound of cutting cocaine bricks by his bedside couldn’t wake him.
We were in it together,
twenty-three-year-old bodies entangled, sunk between crumb-crusted couch cushions in a basement, cigarette smoke swirling in concentric circles, enveloping us like a warm blanket, Chris Cornell’s voice filling the empty space from a speaker in the corner. On the glass table, a ten-dollar bill my boyfriend Bobby’s father lent him for cigarettes lay crumpled, matted with orange opiates, chalky, tart. We dulled the pain of our wayward ambitions, diluted disintegrating dreams, dust disappearing through our narrow nasal passages. Swollen and raw. We were in it together, new lovers nodding off in a Ditmars Boulevard diner over burnt coffee and uneaten toast two blocks south from the studio apartment Bobby rented in a short-lived attempt to build a life.
We were in it together.
So why wasn’t I the one to stumble to my dorm, swallow twenty pills, join the boy down the hall in a coma of euphoric intoxication? Why wasn’t I the one, in the aftermath of it all, to find Jesus in an oversized tub in the basement of a Seventh Day Adventist church? Why was fear enough? Scared stiff after puking out the passenger door driving south on I87, careful not to smear opiate residue on my pressed navy pantsuit? Days after driving Lynn to detox, splayed like a starfish, limp on a bare mattress, the keys to her shiny black Mitsubishi Eclipse dangling from my ring finger. We were all in it, together. So why wasn’t I the one at twenty-seven to marry the sunken earth, silent?
Stacy N. Ross is originally from New York, has lived in Arizona, Italy and South Korea, and is currently living in northern California with her husband and young son. When she is not writing, you can find her teaching English to high school students in San Jose, traveling, hiking, and drinking coffee. Her work has appeared in Pidgeonholes. You can find her online at stacynross.com, or tweet her @sn_rossitto
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