HOPE: (to the audience) So we take whatever shit we need. My sunscreen, his dog, Guinness, smokes, my phone, some cash, my hat, his hat. And we start walking out of here. Well, HE is walking. I'm skating my way as if I am an eight year old again. My dad would take me to this skating ring. Everyone else would skateboard, or rollerblade. But I had my retro skates on. The first time there, I bitched about it or something. I was a "brat" according to my dad. So he made me get back home in the skates rolling behind his car, trying to catch up. And now Mickey is trying to catch up with me. He isn't much of a runner, this guy. Poor guy. He's trying so hard.
Hope is skating while Mickey is running behind her.
HOPE: We can take a break if you need it.
MICKEY: No. Maybe... oh lord...maybe this way we can get there before sunset.
HOPE: You're an optimist.
HOPE: Other times you're a pessimist?
MICKEY: Aren't you?
HOPE: I don't know what I am anymore.
Hey, let's stop. Take a breath. We'll have to sustain some energy if we want to get to that gas station before we exhaust ourselves to death. And your dog is...drooling.
HOPE: Take a long inhale. Hold it. Now exhale... keep it long. Okay, again. Good. Better?
MICKEY: Thanks, I.... I'm not a twenty year old anymore.
HOPE: The smoke and the booze won't make you younger either.
MICKEY: Hmmm... except they kinda do. Up here.
HOPE: They just help you forget, is all.
But your body remembers. Always does.
MICKEY: Are you a shrink or something?
HOPE: No. But I know what it's like to want to escape.
MICKEY: Who said I want to escape?
HOPE: You didn't. Sorry...The heat is getting to me I don't even know what I'm saying anymore.
They continue walking/skating in a slower pace now.
MICKEY: You know, if this was night, we'd see a million stars. They're there now but we just don't see them. The sun hides them out, but they're there.
HOPE: I think I see one! It's the moon. Right there. Can you see?
MICKEY: Oh yeah. It's an onion peel.
HOPE: A tiny banana.
MICKEY: So tiny. It's barely there at all.
HOPE: Where were you going when your car set on fire? It's okay if you don't wanna say.
MICKEY: No... I was going away.
MICKEY: Where the car was gonna take me. I dunno. I was finally getting out. Out of the desert. Was gonna break free! Been livin' out in the desert my whole life. Shitty lil' town, you don't know it. Benderville. Never moved away once. But then my pops... my pops passed away so I, I didn't need to take care of him no more. So I left. Was gonna get to the mountains, my buddy could get me a job out there, but then... the fire showed up. I thought I had it all figured out, but God had other plans for me. He always does.
HOPE: I'm sorry.
MICKEY: What for?
HOPE: Your dad.
MICKEY: Yeah. Thanks. He was a piece of work, my old man. Taught me everything I know. And taught me I don't know anything at all. He was like... the best teacher and the worst teacher, ya know?
MICKEY: I miss him though. The old fucker. He's be laughing so hard right now if he'd saw me.
What about you? Got a family?
HOPE: Sort of.
MICKEY: What - a husband and five kids somewhere?
HOPE: I don't think I'm that type.
MICKEY: Everyone wants family.
HOPE: Do they?
MICKEY: I do.
HOPE: Is that a star? Or a plane?
MICKEY: Oh yeah that one is called 'Sirius'. It's the brightest star.
HOPE: Imagine being on it.
MICKEY: You'd get burned. It's twenty five times brighter than the sun.
HOPE: Oh. Still. I'd like to be on it. See what earth looks like from there. Tiny, probably.
MICKEY: So tiny, I doubt you could see it at all.
HOPE: Aim for the stars, right?
MICKEY: What's that?
HOPE: Never mind. I'm delirious. Don't mind me. I'm weird, I know I'm weird. I'm so fucking weird.
MICKEY: You're not weird. You're....awesome.
HOPE: It's okay really! I'm not fishing for compliments or anything. I like being weird. Too many normal people out there you know? Someone has to be weird so it might as well be me.
MICKEY: I like weird. Maybe I'm weird too!
HOPE: No. You're... kind. Good hearted. Sweet. Not weird at all.
MICKEY: That's the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.
HOPE: Really!? Now THAT'S weird.
To be continued...
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman