The cloth seat has begun to disintegrate. There's a smell that's hard to define, but as certainly as there's a "new car smell" there's an "old car smell". Musty, trace of mouse urine, some dead man's humble aftershave and cloying pomade.

"Where did you find this old thing?" I ask you, knowing you aren't allowed to answer. But you look up for a moment from unbuttoning your fly, and I can see the answer in your eyes. Like a drive-in movie from behind the screen: an old man trading you keys for keys, your meticulously blurred license plate receding as you drive off, leaving your car in his garage.

Behind you, out the missing window, the parking lot is an empty black field of broken bottles and dying stars. I'd ask how you conjured this place up, but the truth would probably be exhausting. That you can pull this kind of magical shit and instead you cling to the masochism of a desk job and mortgage is the most offensive sort of stubbornness. The buildings around the edge must be the ones that watched over you when you had no home, when you were young and mean and paying the dues that bought you all this wasted power. I would rather have had you then. The only way I want you now is like this, when our dull home planet drops away over the horizon and we meet in this permanent 5am.

The seat's springs cry out as you pull me underneath you. I always wonder how I made it all the way here naked, but it makes sense. I've always been naked around you. There's really no time to wonder - your lips are against mine, your body's against mine, and while you touch me I know everything. Your quiet, dark history fills up my head, the strippers and the bottles and the blood. And those true pieces turn into stories, beautiful and horrifying, desolate as the parking lot outside.

Then it's over. I've barely opened my eyes and you're pulling your white t-shirt back over your head. Not yet, not yet. I slide my hand up the inside of the shirt, through the sweat that's already drying in the desert air, then-

I'm in the driver's seat of my own car, fully dressed. I'm outside a gas station, the cashier inside ignoring me as he texts someone or plays Words with Friends or whatever. If I duck down so the cash register blocks the phone he might be you. If I pretend he's an eighteen year old girl he might be me. But I'm me, and he's him, and you're not here.

I pull my hoodie tighter around me. It's warm out, but losing your heat makes me shiver. It's been five years, and I keep coming back here, hoping for one more kiss. I don't even know why. Even if I drive out to the middle of nowhere, on the clearest nights, I can't see your planet in the sky anymore. Knowing you, you probably blew it up.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.