Drive By


I see you, Janie, I see you on the side of the road with your car, just a few miles from home.  I see how you're kicking at your flat tire with your high-heeled boots.  I wonder if you'll break a toe.  I wonder if you planned it, the tight white t-shirt on a gray day, threatening skies, storm clouds pooling.  I see you, Janie, neighbor whose long legs wrap around any guy who doesn't notice how you whimper until you shriek, "Why are you leaving?" when he says he has somewhere else to be.  "Why don't you spend the night?" and then you flounce, bounce, your bare feet slapping on the pavement before you run inside, slamming the door—again—as that poor guy drives off most likely sighing.  I'm watching in my rearview mirror how your hands are on your hips, just like I had mine planted on my hips last week, after I came home from the grocery store and you were coming out of my house.  You said to me, "Sugar.  I was asking for some sugar," and I was thinking we don't have any with Donny being diabetic, but you said "Sugar" and you laughed and when I went inside Donny also said, "She came looking for some sugar."  I'm not buying it, not at all, not the way my husband acted nervous and then put off by my questioning, not with me knowing how many different cars have been in your driveway, and so I'm passing right on by.  I'm waving, Janie, and when I get home, when I'm safe inside and listening for the downpour which is coming any second now—the howl of summer storm, sky lowering, blackening, lightning like flame-soaked fingers, point and crackle and break—I'll be thinking of you, soaked and scrambling to get in the car, your blonde highlights matted down.  You'll sit holding your hurt toe, rain pounding your windshield, and I'll hope you're scared.  It makes me mean, but I'm just being honest.  Sometimes the devil gets a hold of me too, so maybe you'll hear my laughter between thunder rolls.  
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