“My people were loggers and truck drivers–people who didn’t trust success as much as struggle. My father wore flannel and drank beer from tall, white cans. He spoke with a slowness that suggested hardship.”
* * *
“Young girls in young outfits. The curve of something I couldn’t know. I got off the bus and went to the basement and watched television. I watched the other kinds of people in the world until I forgot about myself.”
* * *
“Lily looked at you hard when she laughed. She came to the plains from an eastern city to see the size of the weather, the long breaths of wind, the way you could see the rain well before you rode into it. The place I was from was just as empty but not as flat. It took me years to get used to having nothing on the horizon, nothing farther in the distance to mark time.”
* * *
“The road back into town wound steeply through the woods. She drove the car too fast, gunning the accelerator, slamming the brakes. She had no understanding of the mechanics at play and I said nothing about the panic I felt. My father once told me that wet leaves can be like ice. Up ahead, a maple had shed its leaves thickly over a curve, and when her wheels hit, they kicked out. I hit my head, and the dash collapsed on my shin. She woke up to smoke that turned out to be her air bag’s dust. Mine didn’t go off.
She pulled at my shirt and screamed when the bloodied part of my face slumped toward her. I heard it from a great distance.”