Marks of blood the shape of flowers cover the side of a chrome pay
phone. Strange flowers, one beside another, drying under the sun.
The old phone hangs on a gas station with weeds in the doorway and
little windowpanes broken so long ago the shards of glass are gone.
By the door a faded Indian in full headdress stands in peeling paint
behind stripped gas pumps where a desert breeze moves through dusty
quiet, the air, not a sound really, a current, and a cloud of smoke
rides it, drifting through holes in heat-rotted boards, empty doorways,
broken machines. Drifting across the receiver hanging by its cord
from the pay phone, and the young woman against the wall.
Cotter, sitting on the ground, arms and legs scattered around. Small
streams of blood run from split knuckles, across fingers, into the
black denim of her jeans and the dust of earth. Eyes, dark, empty,
staring out of focus through the shifting shadows of light and smoke
moving across the abandoned filling station.
nothing crosses the void in Lucy’s mind. Feeling and thought
vanished together, a waking coma holds the world distant, through
a long tunnel. Struggle lies beneath the olive skin of that small
body, the struggle of weakness at a mighty task, the struggle of
a hand to brush aside a mountain, the struggle of failure to begin.
Lucy’s trying to cross the void of her mind, trying to break
the coma, trying to move, but the sound of drifting air, the taste
of burnt metal on her tongue, the pain of split knuckles, nothing
has a sharp enough edge to grab. This moment, this nothing, she can’t
find a way out of it alone.
you’d like to make a call, please hang up and try your call
again,” says a recorded voice through the hanging receiver.
enough. Light, sound, the taste on her tongue, all come back with
the warmth of oil in smoke. Lucy takes control, one bloody hand slips
to the ground, steadying her as she stands. Hanging the receiver
on its cradle, for a moment she holds it down, looking at the red
flowers of blood where her fists met the phone. Looking at the black
sleeve of her denim jacket. Feeling the smoke in thick layers through
her black hair.
disappointed in herself, she freaked out and tried to punch the phone
off the wall. Disappointed because it was immature, and also because
it didn’t work.
doesn’t matter right now, what matters is that she gets moving.
Something’s coming, darkness near enough her heart can feel
it. No one understands their own anger enough to tell what shape
it can take. Lucy doesn’t know what’s coming, but it
might be violent, like with the phone. Lucy has to get away from
here before she does something stupid.
her back she turns to the left, to her truck, a huge, pearl-white semi truck
with a stream of withering smoke rising from the engine. Her truck, a
Freightliner Classic, her life. All she has, all she is, the entire
life of Lucy Cotter, that truck, dead beside the road, oil still
dripping from the engine.
Sounds of gravel
beneath her black canvas shoes, Lucy hears it, mingling with the
imperfect silence of the air moving slowly enough it’s not
wind. Lucy hears herself crossing the open space toward the truck
as a lifetime crosses her memory. The truck, the hundreds of highways,
thousands of nights, days, weeks, months sheltered from the rain,
sleeping in the back of that truck.
Older memories follow,
memories with the color of faded photographs. An image of Lucy’s father Gordon standing beside his old red
truck, the Good Deal, on some long, empty road in Nebraska. Another
image of Gordon at a truck dealership, standing between the Good
Deal and the pearl-white truck he would soon name the “Cool
Deal.” A final image of Gordon on a stretcher, a blanket over
his head, EMT’s pushing him into a Dallas Hospital, the Cool
Deal sitting out front.
memories follow, these so faded they seem to be in black and white. A small house
under two large trees on a warm day with a child Lucy searching for something
in the grass while Gordon and Nancy Cotter stand by the door with smiles.
beside Lucy, both their reflections in a mirror, Nancy telling her daughter
she looks like Audrey Hepburn, Lucy almost pale with pride. Then
a painful image, Gordon standing against a wall, weeping into his
hands. Lucy holding the letter Gordon let slip to the floor, looking
back at her father, confused, one hand on the telephone.
The next image isn’t hard to remember, because it’s
not a memory like the rest, it’s an actual photo from a newspaper.
A confusing scene in ink and newsprint, a courtroom, Nancy Cotter
wearing handcuffs, the arm of a police officer around her. Young
Lucy behind a railing, to frightened to move, to frightened to scream.
The eyes of Nancy low and creased so hard they draw the darkness
of the ink. An amazing photo, because it caught the moment after
Nancy spit on her daughter.
Nancy Cotter make Lucy feel ugly. Her body feels, her heart feels ugly, and her
Audrey Hepburn face feels ugliest of all.
darkness is near, carried on the air and the oil and the smoke. Darkness
of memories and emotions Lucy can’t shut out.
Years and years and years and still she can’t shut them out.
has to get away from here, because if she freaks out again, she might
do something to the truck, and the truck doesn’t
deserve it. The truck never did anything wrong, but it’s here,
and it’s helpless, and it represents Lucy’s life. Lucy
has to get away, for the truck.
Airbrushed letters, CD in red blazed
across the pearl door. Steps, tanks, pipes of chrome, all tarnished
for want of attention Lucy never gave. It’s a beautiful truck,
people always said so, she never cared.
Up the steps, into the sleeper behind the seats,
Lucy shoves her life into an old army backpack. Pain is rising in
her throat, sorrow twisting up until her neck aches and those dark
eyes glisten with a warning of tears. But she won’t cry, she knows she won’t
cry, Lucy never cries.
Out of the cab, up between the truck and trailer,
a little red Honda motorcycle strapped to the back of the sleeper.
A clever system Lucy didn’t design uses a chain hoist to lower
the small motorcycle to the ground. Ingenuity and care provided Gordon
Lucy moves in a vacant rush, giving little attention to her
work. The bike is down, backpack tied to the seat. Lucy puts on her
sunglasses, turns to mount the bike, but stops. Reaching behind she
lays one hand on the Cool Deal. She’s facing away, toward a
long, brown valley rising in the distance to a ridge of broken rock
mountains covered in small evergreens.
Facing away from the truck, still she
knows where her hand lays. Years of working that truck, servicing
it as often as she could afford, cleaning it less often then she
should, going over it’s entire
being, feeling for weakness or fatigue in every part. Lucy knows
the body of that truck better then her own, she’s touching
it one last time.
For a practical woman sentimental feelings are confusing,
especially when attached to a machine. There’s no reason to
touch it, no reason to stand there confused about the moment. No
reason to say good by, only that she has to. But what does a practical
woman say to a dead horse?
“I’m sorry,” the words escaping dry from Lucy’s
mouth, she mounts the bike, kicks the engine over, and rides away.
morning air ripples through Lucy’s black denim jacket,
through the short black crop of her hair, across black sunglasses
and the tightening grip of her jaw.
Familiar sounds of the Honda’s engine are strained, high and
pinched. Lucy’s riding it too hard, too fast for the little
bike, she doesn’t hear. Black ribbon of highway before her
winding up through growing hills into the beginning of mountains,
trees growing closer to the road, Lucy doesn’t see. Lines of
light and shadow falling from rounded, cotton ball clouds high above,
the Honda passing through warmth of sun and cool of shadow, she doesn’t
A world internal,
searching somewhere inside for things searching can only confuse. Things that
searching only makes impossible to find. The internal world is nothing new to
this woman, a life lived years alone. As with many, silence increased her wisdom
little, and this moment seems to be the same.
not even looking for anything deep right now, only searching for a way to avoid
that darkness she knows is coming. Running in search of light to turn on that
sinister darkness creeping up in her mind.
Some distraction, Lucy needs something to divert her
attention. The truck, consider the Cool Deal. Lucy’s last sight
of the truck was close up, a jumble of images, not a proper farewell
view. If only Lucy had the courage to turn around, look at it one
last time, a full, long, parting view to hold in her memory.
that didn’t happen, Lucy screwed it up, just like
the truck, just like everything. Screwed up life, screwed up truck,
screwed up… everything. All of it. Why? She knows why, because
she’s an idiot. Because she can’t do anything right,
least of all the simplest things, like keeping a schedule, saving
money, and repairing the really expensive truck her father spent
ten years buying, just so he could leave something for her. Took
Lucy, what, two years to ruin it? To take security and occupation
and livelihood and meaning, take it all and shit on it.
her hands tightening on the motorcycle grips. So tight her split
knuckles crack open and bleed again. Tension up her arms, through
the shoulders, down the back, across hips and legs, she’s
even gripping the little red Honda with her thighs. This is it, the
Thinking of the Cool Deal, to distract herself from thinking
about killing the Cool Deal, that’s so stupid it’s pathetic,
and Lucy’s mistake molds her darkness into hate. It was probably
going to be hate anyway.
Lucy’s felt it before, when she knew the Cool Deal needed
repairs she couldn’t afford. When she knew it while looking
at the bottom of another whisky glass and someone in the bar made
the mistake of speaking to her. When the truck broke down and she
tried to beat her agony out of the pay phone.
absolute, for everything, mixing and burning into purified rage. Mankind, Earth,
stars and the expanse of the universe, Lucy has rage enough to destroy
them all, but the universe is safe, because Lucy will share with
none of them. This thing inside her, this focus, was made in her
heart, and only her heart can hold it, stabbing itself over and over
again for the failure Lucy is to herself.
becomes Lucy’s body, winding out from that agony, that
power source, along the most aggressive lines of her form, filling
tendons and muscles with energy. Eyes narrow, shadowing the twisted
world outside her direct view. Tunnel vision, hot, searing, vengeful
dark eyes locked hard forward by stiff neck and shoulders. Feet like
claws, fingers like teeth, teeth like steel.
Lucy’s mind is a void with one single point of chaos at the
center. A point of focused dementia swirling with colors of liquid
iron as hatred consumes itself in molten fire. Lucy’s eyes,
huge, dark, search viciously back and fourth, scouring every weakness
and fault inside, hating everything found until hate drips from her
mouth. Hating herself with such resolution and authority Lucy could
command the mountains around her to tumble down upon the road, covering
Oh, there it is, that’s what this is about. “Tumbling
mountains,” some kind metaphor. Lucy can’t control the
mountains, but she can control the bike. She can hurl the bike into
the mountain bringing an end to this miserable self she hates so
Or, steer the little Honda into an oncoming car. To feel
the bike fold in half, to feel her body in the air, to feel her fingertips
sliding along the smooth metal of the car’s hood as her eyes
meet those of the driver. To feel the instant of crushing impact
as her body’s broken to pieces and falls dead to the ground.
To feel peace.
That’s what this is about, suicide. Well ain’t that
fine, the road may be new but the rider certainly hasn’t changed.
More then anything else, the one thing that pisses Lucy off about
suicide is that she never does it. If a girl has to be so depressed,
so worthless, pointless, aimless, that she’s going to contemplate
suicide every time the thought pops into her head…. Know what?
Fine! But do it!
Aggravating; it comes up, Lucy can’t stop thinking about it,
but she never does it. How ridiculous is that? At this point she’s
pretty certain she won’t do it, she never has before, so if
she’s not going to do it why does it stick in her head?
then anything, right now, Lucy hates herself for never committing
suicide. Hates herself so much she wants to kill herself, and there
she is right back at the beginning. So she can’t help but consider
that the only way to stop herself from thinking about killing herself
is to kill herself, and that’s about the stupidest thing she’s
Lucy swerves off the road and throws the Honda on the
ground. She shakes her head as hard as she can to clear the pointless,
irritating suicidal fantasy. Doesn’t work, still there. Closing
her eyes Lucy shakes her head until the taste blood fills her mouth,
shakes it so hard she falls on the ground.
The world swirls as Lucy staggers
to her feet. Still there, she can’t make the suicide go away,
so she has to get away from the motorcycle. Clenching her fists,
hunched over with hate, Lucy leaves the road for the wilderness.
Soft rubber shoes grip the mountain
as Lucy crawls up its side. Simple, canvas shoes, they work well
for mountain climbing, Lucy doesn’t notice. Of course Lucy’s
not paying attention to anything at the moment, focused only physical
distraction. Mental distraction was an obvious failure, so at every
slope she tries to clear her head with physical exertion, and at
every slope she fails.
Lucy’s movements are like trembling, the same meaning, but
precise. Hands, arms, seem to dance, light, fast, prepared in a moment
to move in any direction to bring any destruction. Potential, vicious,
Lucy’s body now only the shape around the hate inside. If terror
turns the dark pale, rage shows in the shape of Lucy Cotter.
in dust, panting from the climb, Lucy comes to a wall of stone. With
that same vicious energy she slams her forehead into the rock, the
force of the blow knocks her a few steps back. It’s
that body, that body so light it seems to float, so light and fast
it moves in the arch of a whip. Driven suddenly, easily in directions
of brutality. Lucy has no control over that body… no, that’s
not true, Lucy has perfect control over that body, precise, masterful
control, unfortunately the mind consumed with rage has only evil
designs for such a body.
Lucy gets a running start at the wall. Sparks of light shoot across her eyes
and Lucy begins to fall. Grabbing the rocks for support and leverage she slams
her head into it a third time.
on the ground, Lucy’s breath comes a smooth rhythm,
controlled breathing that may stop if she lets herself drift too
far. Blindness a moment, then light opens in the dark, growing wider
until the blurry shape of her hands appear. A needle point of sound
in her head turns deeper in pitch until the soft hum of the natural
world again fills her ears. Lucy blinks to focus her eyes, she almost
knocked herself out, maybe she did.
stand she falls back on the ground, still too dizzy. The suicide is gone, even
the rage is gone. All she has is the ground before her and a dull throb in
Crawling on hands and
knees through sand, Lucy slowly makes her way along the stone wall.
Brown dust covers her hands, drying bloody knuckles. Dust settles
through Lucy’s black hair, covering
her knees and elbows and the black, ribbed tank top beneath her denim
ledge of rock Lucy sits herself on it, looking out over the valley before her
as sight returns more clearly to focus. Edged with shadows from small clouds
above, noon sun throws soft light on a gray valley. The far side is a long ridge
of stone grated with sediment lines leaning to the east and deep gutters from
top to bottom cut by wind and forgotten rainstorms. Colors of amber and
gold line shadows in crevices curling with the winding of dry rivers.
out on the valley Lucy knows the rage is gone, knows it because the
valley is lovely. Rage would never let her enjoy anything but destruction.
It’s gone, thank God.
her forehead Lucy feels a one-inch gash where the rock opened her
skin. A line of blood runs beside her nose and mouth. Hands bruised,
split knuckles dried with brown dust. Self destruction, she’s
destroying herself. This is too much, Lucy’s tearing herself
apart, she has to stop while there’s still something left,
but then again, why?
should Lucy stop destroying herself? Why preserve anything?
That question’s hard to answer because Lucy hasn’t even
begun to figure out what she’s doing. The Cool Deal’s
gone, her life as a trucker is gone, what now?
hard to be rational about anything when life has no direction, no purpose.
To find a reason not to destroy herself, Lucy has to figure out what
value her existence has. Life can only have value if something is
being done with that life, something meaningful. Only if life has
meaning can an angry mind be diverted from sinister plots against
Life keeps coming up, the idea of life. Not
the biological function, but the person Lucy is, the person Lucy
chooses to be. Beginning the idea over and over Lucy can’t finish it, can’t
move beyond the words. Life, Lucy has a life, right?
What is a life? It’s sort’a the product of choices made
in the past. Past choices build a structure from which things like
ethics, ideals, philosophy, ethos, and religion take shape. Life
is who we choose to be, the most important statement a person can
make. How life is lived, what’s done with life, these represent
a person’s most strongly held beliefs. They should anyway,
since the entire life is devoted to living them. Anyone failing to
follow what they believe is not only deceiving themselves, but committing
a crime against all others who do follow what they believe.
if perhaps the most important task in human existence is to form
a system of ethics. Second only to that task would be following that
system of ethics. They must be performed in that order, because following
a system of ethics that is not ones own is the most rending of any
torment for the soul. If Hell waits beyond the shadows of death,
it’s a place where the acid of hypocrisy
drips from the flesh.
Suddenly, in the clearing haze of Lucy’s
beaten mind, one thing seems clear, Lucy has to figure out her life.
horrible task, to analyze values in the midst of pain. It’s
the worst possible time, demanding the most difficult questions of
a mind in the poorest condition to answer. Ridiculous irony, that
this is the time for such questions. Perhaps this is the only time
these questions can be answered with any kind of meaning. How can
one make an honest choice about life when surrounded by the comforts
of a life already being lead?
is the worst time to do it, this is the only time to do it. Unless
Lucy wants to go around beating her face against rocks the rest of
her life, she has to figure out what to do with the years after twenty-one.
meaning of life? Rubbing her face, Lucy groans into her dusty palm.
Stupid, to be asking herself questions baffling to greater minds
while sitting filthy in the desert with nowhere to go. What she really
needs to do is get a job. Get a job driving for some trucking company,
rent an apartment, buy furniture, turn on the electricity. Settle
down in one place, find a husband, have a kid, buy a dog. That’s
the practical thing to do, the responsible thing.
Lucy the world suddenly seems very clear. Color and scent vivid,
each sound a report of her surroundings. Lucy’s mind is working
fast. What’s going on? Why is this happening?
dusty hand over her ribbed tank top, Lucy feels her heart racing,
rushing blood though her body, to her brain, heightening her senses
and the speed of mental process. Adrenalin, it’s a rush of
adrenalin, but why?
Lucy’s afraid of an apartment, of buying furniture and turning
on the electricity, of a regular job bowing to superiors she’ll
learn to hate because they’re petty and stupid. Afraid of stability.
fingers through her hair Lucy considers the situation. Stability
is more frightening then… what? What else could she do? Wander
around looking for her own personal desires? Looking for meaning
in her life? That’s childish. Perhaps then, the mature thing
to do is overcome fear and rent an apartment? Why? Why is that the
right thing to do? Kind of hard to figure out when Lucy has no idea
what right and wrong really are.
would need to understand the meaning of her life in order to justify
settling down, right? More so, if she’s afraid to settle down,
why not look for personal motivation, which isn’t scary at
all? Because searching for the meaning of life sounds stupid, and
irresponsible, and selfish.
not be stupid, irresponsible and selfish? Because that’s immature.
Why not be immature? Wait a minute, why is it immature to be stupid,
irresponsible and selfish? Most people Lucy meets are stupid, irresponsible
and selfish, and they never went looking for the meaning of life.
Maybe they’re stupid, irresponsible and selfish because they
never went looking for the meaning of life?
options right now, number one, settle down, number two, search for
the meaning of life. Settling down has the advantage of appearing,
externally, like the responsible thing to do, even though it doesn’t
seem responsible in the long run. The disadvantage is that it’ll
probably lead to a life of drudgery waiting impatiently for old age
for the meaning of life has the disadvantage of sounding irresponsible
and stupid. It has the advantage of possibly bringing long-term happiness
and settling all confrontations within the soul.
No matter how hard she tries, Lucy can’t obey the dominant
preconception struggling to control her. Prejudice implanted by society
over time, values Lucy learned from remarks made in passing by people
around her, the exaltation of stable working and the devaluation
of philosophical search, it all seems foolish. Lucy can’t make
this decision based on what society thinks is the right thing to
do, she has to do the right thing for herself. Right?
of cloud shadow move slowly across the valley caressing amber and
red though textures of tree and land. Between Lucy’s legs the
ledge of rock stretches into a cliff ended in mounds of rubble eighty
feet below. Only a nudge to slip over the edge, dancing in golden
light to the silence below.
easy to end a life, so hard to understand it. Perhaps… existence
is an ultimatum. Figure out life, or die, either violently on the
rocks or in the drudgery of stability without meaning.
sits hard upright, suddenly the purpose of existence is very clear,
meaning. Not the answer, but the question gives Lucy’s existence
meaning. Searching for the answer gives her meaning. The search is
her reason for being.
The question doesn’t
seem so stupid anymore, in fact, it seems kind of stupid to ignore it. Seems
arrogant to ignore it, for to ignore it is to pretend to have the answers already.
many people pretend to have the answers, talk show hosts, political
commentators, radio jocks, arguing about issues they don’t
understand, never even trying to comprehend opposing ideas. People
following the warped traditions of their fathers only because they
never took the time to form an opinion of their own.
comes responsibility, the responsibility to understand and exercise
freedom. The responsibility to engage ideas and consider the consequences
of our existence in this world and society. With freedom comes the
responsibility to be free. To ignore that responsibility is the mark
of a weak character.
takes a breath of the strong pine air and makes herself a promise.
God it sounds stupid to make a promise to yourself! Goals too, making
a goal is just another word for making a decision. Why did making
a decision become something less important then making a goal or
a promise? Shouldn’t we have enough integrity to do what we
tell ourselves to do? Lucy makes a decision; she won’t
stop searching until she finds herself.
all that purpose and drive spinning around in her heart, Lucy’s
charged. Sitting on that rock is getting her nowhere, there’s
a world out there to discover… no… there’s a
girl out there to discover. Lucy Cotter, and it’s going to
be a real ordeal finding her.
Closing her eyes she takes a moment to feel the wind from the valley, hear the
quiet, smell the earth, then she starts back down the mountain.
Lucy’s own footprints lead back toward the road. Little but
hate occupied her mind last time she passed this way, frightening
how completely rage can blind. Tall evergreens surround her, smaller
ones here and there. Some low, scraggly bushes, and little brushy
plants growing along the ground.
Difference between east and western
mountains is the soft leafed-trees, no leafy plants here except some
long, stiff tufts of grass. This is the sunrise edge of the Rocky
Mountains, northern New Mexico. In the higher elevations there’s
plenty of vegetation, but the ground is still broken rock and sand.
she ever took a walk in this kind of nature Lucy can’t remember
doing it. Smells are everywhere, Lucy has a subconscious interest
in smell, always exploring with her nose. Sand, fragrant dust hanging
in the air even when settled, rich and luxurious bitter-sweet perfume
of evergreens. It’s a wonderful place to be, wandering in the
trees with so many muted colors and subtle smells, and even in the
chaos of her life, the loss of her truck and the rage so recently
survived, Lucy’s just about to feel good, but then she sees
standing by the little red Honda, his patrol car across the street,
both thumbs hooked in his pants pockets to hold the weight of his
arms. Looks like he saw Lucy before she saw him, he’s waiting
beside the bike.
has nothing against the police, she believes them a generally good
group of people. She believes this because she wants to, not because
they’ve ever been nice or helpful. Without police life would
be more dangerous in general, everyone would have to enforce their
own laws, that would lead to daily confrontation and for Lucy, it
would mean a killing spree lasting from dawn till dusk for the rest
of her life.
is, every time Lucy meets a cop it’s a negative experience.
Confronting her about cargo, confronting her about logbooks, speed,
signaling, parking. It’s always confrontation with the cops
and it’s always highly aggressive from the cop’s side.
What ever happened to “good cop, bad cop?” Lucy only
meets mean, angry cops who have bulging veins in their necks. The
good cops must be gone, maybe they’re all in the movies. Maybe
they were only in movies in the first place.
only good cops Lucy meets are the ones who aren’t paying attention
to her, but the cop standing by her bike is definitely paying attention,
so she’s cautious. This cop is a lean man in his fifties who
wears his clothes well. Shirt tucked in tight, his belt a clean line,
pants pressed, shoes shined. Grey hair stands up in a curling wave,
car is parked well off the pavement, he had the courtesy to keep the roadway
clear so other drives can get through. A distinctive saw-tooth pattern of his
footprint shows he walked well up and down both sides of the road, and even into
the trees, looking for the missing rider.
Miss!” says the officer in a warm, masculine tone that could
comfort an angry bull, but not Lucy Cotter. “I saw this bike
on its side and thought the rider might be hurt.” Suddenly
his entire posture is urgent, he sees something. “Are you okay?”
the cop a long, hard look in the eyes, long enough to feel his discomfort, long
enough to show him she’s not afraid
of him, then turns to stand up her bike. “I’m fine.”
have blood on your forehead.”
Honda on its side stand, Lucy rubs the dried blood from her face, and turns to
the cop. “I’m fine.”
“Am I under arrest?” Lucy
narrows her eyes at the officer.
“Should you be?” asks the cop with the tone of a recording.
It’s not something he says often, probably only said it because
he’s confused by the situation.
eyes narrow further, and the left one gets the faintest little twitch.
takes a more relaxed posture. “Funny,” he says
in a familiar tone, obviously trying to start a more friendly exchange. “I
just noticed, you look a lot like Audrey Hepburn,”
Cotter is again forced back into the memories of Lucy. Her mother,
Nancy, who used to say Lucy looked like Audrey Hepburn, but with a
narrower jaw. Nancy Cotter, the source of all darkness in Lucy’s
life, the woman who destroyed Lucy’s father. Lucy
hates the cop for mentioning Audrey Hepburn, only for a moment though,
she learned to let it go a long time ago, because everyone spots
it on Lucy’s face, and that usually makes people mention Audrey
sees he made a mistake, sees it in the crumbling composure of Lucy. He clenches
his jaw and swallows hard.
“I’m fine,” Lucy
you want to tell me what happened?”
head the cop takes a few steps back. “All right
then, I don’t mean to hold you up. Have a nice day.”
leg over the Honda, Lucy sits, staring at the red gas tank. She’s being horrible. She’s in a foul mood, and
cops are usually mean to her, but this cop, this guy is trying to
be nice, and Lucy’s being an ass. Is this the kind of person
she wants to be? If she’s searching for who she is, is this
what Lucy wants to find?
“I’m sorry for being rude,” Lucy
says without looking at him.
“It’s okay miss,” his tone somehow warmer then
before. “You don’t have to apologize.”
has to do more. “This is a bad time for me, but
I’m not in danger, I just need time to think.”
long pause, Lucy knows the cop is trying to say something, she waits.
you stop till you find what you’re lookin’ for.”
turns to the cop, how did he know?
know what it’s like to sit on a motorcycle, and it don’t
matter which way you go.” The cop motions with his head, urging
Lucy down the street, “The only way you can fail is if you
give up before you find what you’re lookin’ for.”
smell of evergreen passes between them, and Lucy knows she was wrong.
She was wrong about him, but he knows exactly who she is. How? Wisdom,
wisdom comes with experience. This cop, this man went through the
journey now before Lucy. He said a few wrong things, but figured
her out, then said the exact right thing.
you,” Lucy whispers, the breeze carrying her words to the cop’s
officer smiles, nods, and waves good-by as Lucy rides away.