Out On 30

It always takes time, she said. These things take time, lit a cigarette and threw the match out in the yard. I don’t doubt that he loves you, he’d be a fool not to, but like most men, he takes some encouraging; needs to have his nerves worked up to pop the question.

I guess so, her younger friend said. I guess you’re right, the skinny blonde took a swig of beer from a can and pulled her long hair back over her shoulders. I guess he’s just gun shy. Been married before to some girl he knew in high school. Guess you could say they was high school sweethearts. Anyway, he married her as quick as he could. Says he made a mistake. Doesn’t wanna do that twice he says. Says this next time will be the last time. Guess that makes me feel real special, she laughed. They both laughed.

Cars whizzed by the older lady’s home throughout the night. There were different types of headlights pushing through the dark. High beams shined and bounced off the few houses as did cars with low beams. There were some with just one headlight on and a couple with no headlights on at all. Just a bunch of cars driving throughout the night out on 30 past the strip joints, trailer parks, gas stations and headshop hotels. The two women sat out there watching pickups peeling out of parking lots, semis moving through town, and bass boats being pulled to the lake. They were still working on a 24 case of Michelob Ultra. They were going to make it an all nighter.

You ever just get tired of it all?, the young blonde asked. She lit up another Newport. I mean, you ever just wanna jump on 30 and never look back? I was looking at a map the other night and 30 takes you up to Merriville then you can jump on 80 and drive clear out to the West coast. All the way out to San Francisco if you want, she stood up and stretched her arms over her head.

Never looked at that map before. Not with any intent. Nope, I’m settled. Gary’s got his job on third shift, bills are paid, I’ve gotten real comfortable. That’s what happens as you get older. You get comfortable, the older woman opened another beer.

I think about it. This is the United States of America, she raised her voice. You can get a job doing something anywhere in the land, the blonde sat back down.

Well, which is it? You wanna get married or take off in the middle of the night on some kind of adventure?

The young blonde paused. I don’t rightly know, she said. I’m still young. Maybe I could do both.

There are no rules. There are no rules.


They started collecting the empty bottles and headed inside. You want some coffee?, the older woman asked. The younger one nodded her head yes. Said she had a ways to go till morning.

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