There is a motorcycle, strapped beneath your straddled legs and tearing asphalt like it is paper. There is the horizon somewhere in front of you, dulled by darkness and pollution. There is a boy in front of you, driving. There is the wind through his hair, through yours; there is pain and terror and too many liquor store stops where he presses bottles into your shaking hands, says, "Drink," like it will fix everything — fix your heart and your head and your broken bloody soul. You drink whiskey now, not wine like your mother taught you when you were fifteen and too shy. You drink whiskey because it burns and it makes you forget for maybe a little while but not forever but that's all right because you don't plan on being here forever anyway. This is all temporary.


You cry in cheap motel rooms at night when he is in the bed next to you, long since asleep. In the middle of the night you get up, go outside, grab shitty vending machine food that's three months two days out of date. That's okay. You're past your expiry date as well. There is dampness in tonight's motel room; it seeps through the ceiling, through the once white walls, through your bones and the boy is asleep so you get up like you do every night. You go outside, grab shitty vending machine food, think about how you are both going to run yourselves into the ground one day, you and this boy. You go to the twenty four hour convenience store, buy a fifth of Jack and you don't say thank you to the cashier when he gives you your change. The alcohol burns on the way down but maybe this way you'll get some sleep tonight. You just want to get some sleep tonight.


He pulls up at a gas station and you complain because the next town is miles still and it's nine in the evening and you just want to find a laundromat. He pulls up at a gas station and you complain because it's not a motel and this means he's planning on burning down the road til morning. You buy cigarettes and he steals food while you speak to the cashier, hey, hey, horrible weather we're having, all I want is some rain instead of endless stretches of road with nothing but the Nevada sun burning its way down your shoulders, yeah, see you later, man. The next day you start drinking at two p.m. You drink whiskey because it reminds you of your mother's disapproving glare when you came in drunk and smelling of smoke. You drink whiskey because everything hurts and you just want to be okay again. You drink whiskey because you can't remember what it's like to be okay any more.


There is a boy and there is the road and sometimes you think they are one and the same with the way he thrives on this, on being alone and poor and monumentally messed up. Like he gets off on the romanticism of it. This is not romantic. This is grit in your eyes and vomiting in motel toilets because you drank too much and there wasn't anybody there to tell you when to stop and this is motel bed sheets that haven't been cleaned since the last couple fucked on them and this is gas stations and fluorescent lighting at three in the morning. This is not romantic. This is why you drink too much and smoke too much and one day you're both going to run yourselves into the ground, you and this crazy boy who won't let you go. This is not romantic. You don't know what this is but maybe it's something like desperation and pain and terror and too many liquor store stops and you tell yourself you hate it oh God how you hate it you just want to go home but


You haven't left yet. And what does that say about you?