wanted to be at my place at 2:45 am. We would walk down to where Suzy
was working, pick her up and drive way the fuck out South, down Belle Chasse highway. I reminded Suzy to bring her parka. Ken had it all worked out. He always does.
I tried to sleep before, but I was distracted. I couldn't get his face out of my mind, his eyes. I wiggled under the covers and waited for the premature alarm. It was no surprise that I was giddy and giggly on the trip out, waving to houses with my hand stuck out the window, the clammy damp of the night's fog slapping my wrist. We were at the whim of whatever tape Ken found under his seat. This time it was the Cars. Old school Cars, with that Def Leppard metal.
We drove on and on through the fog. The lights bobbed up and down in the air as though they were on buoys in the water. The traffic moved from strip malls to bait shops. We passed under in a tunnel, and it felt that it would shoot us out the other side, like in Dukes of Hazzard. Just when we thought we were really in the boonies, an oil refinery appeared all glazed in orange, like a floating city. The streetlights passed from orange to white, until there were cavity gaps in between with no sound.
Suzy and I talked about Denny's along the way, since neither of us had eaten much that day. Ken had brought a thermos of Darjeeling tea. We drove more, until the fog was so thick and low we had barely a 10 foot visibility. What lights were left made it seem like the fog was emitting from them. We were feeling so discouraged, our window of time closing in on us. We decide to turn back and try to find a place we've passed that had less white.
We passed a line of cars pulled over, people leaned against their cars. We pulled over the rock shoulder and through a crown opening from the mist, a whole palace of stars could be seen. Ken pops his trunk to reveal a foam cooler with a bottle of wine, grapes, cheese spread and Garden Herb Triscuits (we share a passion for these things). He laid out towels on the dew soaked grass that sprouted up through the asphalt. No way you laid or stood was comfortable, but you couldn't stop looking. Then, I saw my first meteor tail. I yelped, woo-hooed, and yowed for the next hour. One by one we pointed out the lines of light like kids at the zoo: did you see that elephant mommy, did you see it stand on two feet? did you see the big red ball on the seal's nose, mommy, did you see?
I sang parts of Somewhere Out There, Have a Cigar, and Wandering Star. I could see my breath. Suzy said we have a thousand wishes to make, and my wish was that he was there with me, that we could be seeing the same stars. Well, that was one of them.
The trucks pulling boats for the early Sunday fishing were quickly becoming so common that there was no dark, only interruptions in headlights. Finally, a cop car came to a stop in its lane by our car, then another one a little while past that stopped and asked us what we were doing. They had to have known, yet they still asked. They merely suggested we sit in front of the car instead of behind it, lest someone drift from the road and hit us. Course, they could always just push Ken's Volvo over us, but I let that rest. I was just glad they didn't see the soon to be empty wine bottle.
The way home was the way it is for the departure of any frozen moment of time. I just wanted to crash, to make this night perfect by not holding onto it too tight. Suzy and Ken went on to watch the sunrise.
This is what friends are. This is what love feels like. This is what hope is. Making wishes on meteor dust alight on finger fires across the night sky.