Blue lights on the bottom of a Charger. It cruises through town at forty-five miles per hour. There is silence. He does not hear him. Only sees the silver car moving down the street. Wonders where he’s going at three in the morning. Not many options. Could be coming home from a bar that just closed; kicked all the drunks out; last call was made. Maybe he’s driving up to the filling station to see a girl there working third shift. Get some coffee. Chat awhile. Maybe.
The old man adjusts in his chair. Continues looking out the window. It’s so black out there, he says. He sees outlines of cars parked up and down the street. Hears a train coming through town. But, he’s still wondering what that Charger is doing out at this time of night. A diesel puts on his air brakes. The old man breathes in and breathes out. He thinks that maybe that Charger is heading to I69. Leaving town forever. Maybe the guy had enough tonight at the GM plant and just said the hell with it. It’s a possibility. Heading up to 80 to take it across to Chicago. He’s got a little dough in the bank. Wants to start all over again. Leave the wife behind. Just drive.
I’ll bet he’s heading out to California, the old man whispers. No…he’s going out to Vegas to gamble what little he has left, the old man smiles.
I’ll betcha he’s going out to Los Angeles on old Route 66. Be in St. Louis by noon tomorrow. Stop along the way and hold up a 7-11. All these scenarios. Maybe he just can’t sleep. Maybe the baby can’t sleep, the old man feels his skin, his own skin.
He wishes he had a car.