He’s counting the minutes—the very seconds—to when he can feel free again. Entrapped in how her freckles mimic something of a starry nightscape and how he can’t escape the way her hair ebbs like the sand dunes in Lahontan Valley. It’s unforgivingly ardent. Nothing every changes, does it? But as sure as he’s to spew words she’ll never reciprocate, and hold onto hugs with a richer intensity and for time long unaccounted for, he’s learnt of himself how it feels to entirely revel in the warmth of her smile and what it is to forget our fears. She laughs at his seeming ingenuity. It’s the deep crackle of a campfire. The phone rings and in a whisper of the present, and he knows the moment is behind him. He paces when he’s unsure. And even though his legs are pushing him back and forth, he lacks a sense of direction. That’s all he needs for now. For June has already won.
She picks up the telephone unassertively, though her voice wouldn’t show it. Remembering when her jeans fit much too tight before the days became cooler—shorter. Guilt-driven thoughts engage her mind…on the way her thighs rubbed against one another, touching the heavy-laden fabric in the smoldering calefacient of days long gone. She lets the thought linger, remembering the day as hot as the breath he left on her collar-bone. She wants to say, “you whisked me away,” but she knows if blame has a home, it’s within her. She’s left with her head burrowed in a pillow. No one forced the thoughts she had when her mind couldn’t rest and those hands found solace in. The equinox pours a day as nonindulgent as the night now. And although the leaves make their way toward the ground in a precipitating march, she sees her mind drifting to places she’s not certain she’s been before. She calls it ‘amber’ and lets a coarse sigh into the pillowcase.
The seat belt won’t buckle anymore. The little yellow Triumph Acclaim remains box-like but shows other signs of wear over the years. She was something to brag about in ’83. New-car-smell was quickly sullied by previous inhabitants; now having been replaced by a pair of scuffed Chuck Taylors, a little elbow grease in the nooks and crannies, one miscellaneous crumpled paper bag, and a hopelessly frosted exterior. “There’s really no point to it—to trying to fasten myself in it, anymore,” he mutters in brazen-faced amusement. And as he drives on US-50 for a stretch between one insensate town to another, he can’t imagine a destination in mind—he just knows he hasn’t reached it yet. He’s driving much faster than he ought to. The little yellow box carries its passenger even further, and the time is now 3:59 p.m. The worries are small, and the road is long and cold.
This time, she waves shyly from across the room. Apologetic and whimsical. She makes it a point to douse him with the details she thinks he’d equivocally mind and flounder alongside. It’s all mindless philandering, really…And all the while the subtle hair flips succeed, and the half-reaches for a lazy hand, he’s in deep thought. “Wicked Game” floats up into his cranial stratosphere. The visual of the little yellow box zip-zipping around town in a gracious and glorious luster in her heyday. And he thinks upon Chris Isaak’s pining for the ethereal woman. And about how he’s no longer subject to her intermissions of brash winter storms and her wild, vivid mid-year. The images of her and him are in black and white, now. He’s content in as much as she is unattainable. He slowly counts the numbers down in his head.
And such is his vernal awakening.