you and me – POSTCARD #13
Lucky thirteen was sent in by Eirik Gumeny, a talented writer and editor of the awesome literary journal Jersey Devil Press. This was a hard one to keep below 300 words, this couple just wanted to keep going, god knows where they would have ended up if I’d let them go.
12 dollar hot dogs
Her arms are folded tightly across her chest as she stares out the passenger window.
He’s hunched over the wheel peering at street signs. He notices the lawn with a kiddy pool printed with the American flag for the second time and hopes she doesn’t.
Pull over, she says in a calm tone and he flinches.
Look, there’s a diner up ahead, we’ll stop there, okay?
He turns on the indicator, still with the slight feeling of vertigo as cars pass on the wrong side of the road.
He parks in front of the strip of huge restaurants and looks up at the huge sign.
$12 HOT DOGS!
Everything was so big here it was hard not to feel small.
She looks at him.
Are we lost?
Not really. Let’s just get something to eat.
$12 Hot Dogs? That’s like eight quid.
They’ll probably be gourmet.
Her face tightens.
You want to hire this enormous petrol-guzzling beast of a car, you want to drive around New Jersey, you want to experience the real thing and now you want a fucking gourmet hot dog?
He imagines what it would be like to slap her hard in the face, watch her head bounce off the window and her eyes widen in shock as his red hand print blooms on her cheek. He imagines what it would be like to get out of the car and walk away.
But he does neither.
It’s my shout, okay?
He hates the meek sound of his voice and she looks at him and sighs.
An hour later, pulled over on the wrong side of the road, he tries to say sorry as she heaves violently on her knees onto the nature strip but instead he clutches his stomach and vomits beside her.