In the Back of a Hearse
I am melting with this tarnished leather. The black cushions are darkening decaying furniture under satin sheets. The memories ooze with the gradual collapse of the foggy windows.
Hours ago, I was quite content, or at least indifferent. I was waiting for Pat to pick me up; the haunting silence of my house was overwhelming. I was cleaning the house for hours, taking breaks in between to wash my face. It was a hindering habit, washing my face every hour. Ever since I left McLean’s, I felt the need to clean. The squalor of that place left a film of filth in my mind, one that I could never abscond.
I was beyond relieved when Pat’s metallic black Mercury approached the driveway. “Rough day?” he sarcastically asked with his Aviator sunglasses tipped past his pupils.
“No, dull as usual,” I replied.
“Well, we’re about to make it a little less dull.”
We skyrocketed beyond the concrete in that little toy car. Pat had brought his two friends Brian and Jeff with him. I enjoyed the company of Brian as he was a mirror image of myself; short fused, cynical, but always available for the friend in trauma. Jeff, on the other hand, resembled more of a street urchin. What he called street smarts involved flattery, mendacity, and theft.
Regardless of the other passengers, I let the cooing sound of the tire rolling against the pavement put me at ease. Bob Dylan was telling us tall tales through the radio; she aches just like a woman. The song made me think of Samantha, my first love with her fog, her amphetamine, and her pearls. She had left me in the winter, just as her mother left her in the cold winter’s chill one December night at the naïve age of five. Samantha shared her mother’s bipolar disease, and I think because of that she cannot love the way I loved her.
The further we drive the more smoke consumes the car. It is being passed around as we each inhale a bit of our own demise. It has been a long time since I’ve indulged in this, and the sensation is both embracing and foreboding. My eyes take on a dreamy gaze and it feels as though the smoke is a glass box steadily surrounding me.I can hear the echoes of my friends’ voices, even make out their words, but there is a harrowing tunnel between us thwarting off communication. And all I can do is devour the scenery.
The black leather of the Mercury emanates an ominous glow, as if it will be my own demise. Pat’s car is expanding and the walls tarnish like the remains of an abandon house. The back seat looks as though it has been stitched with red velvet lining, and I am convinced that I am stuck in my own casket.
I have spent so many years in this backseat that I am certain I will die here. The anxiety causes me to shed a tear, and I am fully aware that my friends have caught the moment. They are staring at me as one does a rabid animal.
“I am sick of this!” Pat suddenly shouts. “I am not gonna let my friend stay miserable,” he adds as Brian, Jeff, and he step out of the car. I can hear Pat’s worried tone speaking on the phone. I know that tone; it’s the depressing tone when a friend knows he’s departing another friend.
The whole scene takes a rapid repetitive turn. I am fully aware that I lived this moment before, and I will forever continue to live it. My whole life has been here, imprisoned on these black leather cushions. I am insane, and they will steal me for that. But for now, I’ll stay in the solace of this hearse.