Won't be coming true
Standing next to the public restroom, I placed the receiver of the phone, still warm, my handprint clear to the naked eye.
“Dianne, don’t come home" Her voice, low and controlled. I could hear Anna in the background.
Her words unclear.
Her mood, clear.
That sound, those words. I was dead...all that is needed are funeral arrangements. There comes a moment when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of your life.
Anything and everything that could happen, did. The ride home/Debra and Anna’s was eventful unto itself.
It had been raining, but it was slowing to a mist, the night air was like a sauna, and the smog was delivering a nasty coat of slim over the ground and my body.
I tried to convince myself it wasn’t what I thought.
It was probably Debra and Anna arguing about Dian.
Perhaps Debra did not want me to see it.
Or maybe Jackie was there, she might have been afraid for me.
But Debra loved her truck and it would take a lot for her to allow it out of her sight for very long. Maybe she told Anna.
We had discussed this and concluded that we would do this AFTER she and Anna were separated, within a comfortable amount of time.
Once again, who the hell was I trying to fool?
I climbed into Debra’s truck, sobering up considerably. In every circumstance where alchohol was involved, I would never have driven. I was not drunk, but probably over the limit. The adrenaline pumped out by my fear, helped. The last time I felt this fearful was when I saw chocolate rain the first (second, third and 10th) time.
Nothing was going to deter me now…
I started heading down highway 59 to see what fate awaits me. The gas gauge was clearly on empty. I switched it to the second tank. Empty. It's night, it’s raining, I was in a bad neighborhood and I felt like I could just fall in a hole and die. THAT would have been comfortable. I soon found a gas station.
I pulled in to the huge shopping storefront Exxon. I loved this store, they had such fun things. Every time we would stop, I needed to go in. And this time was no different. Except, I was not going in to shop. I needed to find a phone. I put the gas nozzle into the tank, pushing the gas cap into the nozzle handle to keep it from stopping once I let go. I grabbed my purse and headed in to the store. The inside of the store was bright, almost like daylight. Insultingly bright. I quickly made my way to the back where there must certainly be phones. I brushed past the t-shirts and shorts, scurrying past the music boxes and dollar chocolate roses and alas, a phone. We didn’t have cell phone abilities back then, August of 1986. If we did, Debra could have called ME and given me updates. It is probably a good idea for me NOT to call. But I did. Artificial intelligence is no match for human stupidity.
I could hear Anna shouting for her to “hang up on that bitch” and she did, and the answer to WhoWhatWhyWhere was perfectly clear. As I hung up the phone, I could still hear shouting. I picked up the receiver,expecting to find maybe I didn’t hang it up. Dial tone.
“Where is that lady?” Shouting from the front. It was late and I was the only woman I had seen. I ran around the corner almost slipping on moisture accumulated from the many customers coming to pay their charge and running out of the rain.
“Lady, your gas was spilling ALL OVER the place”
Shit, I forgot. I hope I have enough for the gas. It was a hefty $1.10 a gallon. I had enough. I went outside and the truck stood there with the gas tank cap out, gasoline spilled down the sides and on to the ground. I grabbed some paper towels dispensed on the side of the gas reservoirs, and hastily cleaned the gas on the side of the vehicle, dripping it down my arms and onto my Joan and David snakeskin t-straps.
Another car came to a halt behind me. I caught a quick glance, didn’t know him, but he had a cigarette, and was pushing out the car door as I climbed in mine. I grappled through my purse, where the fuck did I put those keys? The guy leaned up against the side of his car, finishing up the smoke.
Why didn’t I say something to him?
To be continued