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  from The Same Vein by Tara L. Herweg


10 July 1985

I could ride all night. If Gus the Bus needs sleep, I’ll gladly take over, drive this metal goddess into my millionth sunrise. It’s not that the scenery is especially good—the American interstate highway can be a bleak, lonely place at 4 a.m. It’s the movement, the continuous hum of rubber kissing road, the road stretching out for more, always more, for all you can give her, greedy tart. The safety of transience.

               If memory serves, we’re on Interstate 81, somewhere in Virginia, heading toward Pennsylvania, our next appointment. One week left before I have to stop and settle again. Have been leaning toward going home—home!—though memories of Sara press heavily against me. And in this heart, I can’t bear to find my home so changed.

               New York is another option, one that would surely push Jenny away for good. Sometimes, like right now, I think that would be a good idea. What is one more devastation, one more life reduced to what if and the ever popular what might have been?



               Enough, he thought, surprised to find he’d written the word. He decided to listen to so strong an impulse. He shut his journal, pausing a moment to allow the number, 354, so carelessly scrawled on the cover, to burn onto his eyes. He shoved the book under his pillow (a hackneyed hiding place, he admitted), then lay awake in his bunk. Outside his compartment, Gus the Bus steered them into Maryland. The air conditioner rattled and whispered, Not long now.


               She woke to the sound of crackling newspaper. Rick had this way of leafing through the Sunday edition that she could mimic fold for fol...

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