There’s no peace in this, he said to her. No solace. It’s just you and me, arguing all the time. Fighting like two dogs. You say one thing, and then I say another, then we’re off to the races, he lit a cigarette. There’s nothing I can say that’ll make it better. It’s best you go your own way and I go mine. Who knows? Maybe one day we’ll hitch up again, he laughed. I suppose you’re going back to your parents.
Hmm hmm. I suppose so, she said. The young woman got out a gym bag and started stuffing it with clothes; jeans, tee-shirts, bras, a couple of pairs of panties, the pink ones, the ones he liked.
I’m heading out west, he said. Going to San Diego, or Bakersfield, maybe Indio.
You don’t know where you’re going, she threw in a pack of gum, some lipstick, a little blush. You’ve never known where you were going. Always just taking off . I was a fool to take off with you, they looked at each other. You get these crazy ideas from movies and songs, she told him. Bakersfield? You never heard of Bakersfield till Buck Owens sang about it. And Indio? That just sounds like some place where crazy people go.
It smells good out there, he said. I like the way it smells.
When have you ever been to Indio, California?
When I was a kid. ‘Bout sixteen. Ran away from home and wound up there. The bus stopped at three in the morning, and I could smell this alfalfa smell. This rich farm smell of crops growing. It smelled fresh, he lit another cigarette. And, it was pitch black out there. You couldn’t see anything. Walked through town, and everything was closed; people were asleep. It seemed peaceful.
Why’d you leave?
I was a fool. Young. Went into Los Angeles. That was too much. All these homeless people asking for money all the time. All these hookers and teenagers just like me. Hopeless, he said. I thought I could be some kind of movie star, he smiled. I didn’t even know how to go about it. Figured somebody would discover me. Just walk up to me one day and ask if I’d like to be in a movie.
We all have dreams. We all have dreams.
Yep. I suppose we do.