slow dancing in a burning room (fiction)
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The dream didn't start happening for a long time after, but when it did, it would not stop. It never changed. The same, night after night, motels and truck stops the country over. No stretch of highway put any distance between me and that dream. No mile markers kept her from doing what she had always done: haunting me.
I stare at her; the light of the headlights refracts off the road ahead and shines on the highlights of her face. The soft bridge of her nose, thin lips looking so very kissable. But I do not. I say, we are all wrong for each other. And she agrees. She never cared too much for music and I couldn't farm for a living to save my life. Sometimes it goes like that.
The radio plays a song that says it first-- You got to know when to hold them, and know when to fold them. The scene shifts. We are at the million dollar tournament and we both come up playing 7 and 2 offsuit. I think we are both playing just for the thrill of trying to beat the hammer.
She laughs and I catch her eye. One fleeting moment, one last time.
In the slow mornings after the dream, it takes me hours to readjust. To remember she is not waiting at the other end of a telephone line for me anymore. Some mornings I am simply stopped in my tracks.