Sunday, March 06, 2005

On certain creeping hot Florida nights Toby would knock softly on my window, three quick smacks to the glass punctuated by a rap with the knuckle of his second finger. I'd clamber out, usually scraping my knees on the way, and we'd drive off into the dark in search of adventures. There were always matches in the car--we both smoked like damp brushfires--and I would light them, one by one, and drop them out the window. I loved to watch them flare brightly, struggle in the wind, and then die right by the passenger door. It seemed, at the time, an exceptionally poignant thing to do.
Tobes was in a bad place at the time, his mother having recently taken off with a man she met at the gas station. He'd sleep on the couches of various relatives sometimes, but more often than not he'd spend the night driving around until he couldn't stay awake anymore. He wanted his death, like his life, to be an accident.
I was also in a bad place at the time, spending days and nights shrinking in fear of the next round of random violence from my stepfather. I wasn't talking to anyone about what was happening because, at the very least, what I knew was better than whatever would happen next. But Toby and I didn't need to talk, we just needed to drive.

I apologize for not having pictures for you lately. I feel a little guilty, giving you all these words and no images. But I've been feeling many things lately, and not a one of them is creative. I'll try to step it up a little bit.

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