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This isn’t how it’s supposed to be. Cars are supposed to race merrily along the highway, wheels blurring in forward progression, yielding to cars from entrance ramps, and slowly curving onto exit ramps. The whole flux of the highway has gone screwy. We’re yielding no more.
Snow falls so heavily, I wonder if it will ever stop. As it accumulates on the windshield, I get the sinking feeling of drowning in a frozen lake. A worse death I can’t imagine. First you hear the ice crack, then you slip through, plunging into teeth-clattering cold water, lost in the darkness, pounding on the unyielding ice ceiling, tiny bubbles fluttering from your unheard cries for help.
But that’s bullshit thinking. I crack the icy silence. “I wish I had some cards. We could play some poker. You could whip my ass and take all my money.”
Ellen frowns at me. “Poke her? I don’t even know her.”
“How hot is it?” she asks, becoming a more rambunctious audience.
I peek at her. She has a little grin. But her peepers are closed. Good.
“Oh, it’s hot,” I answer. “Ferocious hot. Tropical hot. Heat pounds into our skin. Sweat drips from us.”
“What’re we wearing?” Her voice is soft.
“Um, I’ve got on black swim trunks. And you’re wearing… um… a bright red swimsuit.”
“I don’t look good in bright red. Wrong skin tone.”
Grrr. “Okay, not red. Silver, then. Yes, silver. It glitters in the sunlight.”
“Bikini or one piece?”
Uh-oh. In a month-long second, I try to figure out the consequences of either answer, and end up deciding to go for broke. “Um… bikini. So you can feel the sun on your stomach. But I’m not looking at you. My eyes are closed. Shut as tight as a bank vault.”
“Why aren’t you looking at me?”