Monday, June 2, 2008

A Blanket and a Boy

She opened her eyes to see the sky. Clouds were rolling in and the breeze was cool.

She couldn't believe that she fell asleep. She looked up at him, he was still on the phone with his mom. She wiped the slober off the side of her face.

How long was I asleep? She asked after he hung up the phone. For almost an hour, I was talking to my mom that whole time. He laughed at her.

Wow. I'm hungry. She looked in their paper bag but all they had was cigarettes and malt liquor.

Liquid diet, he said and laughed at her.

She grabbed a bottle of the malt and opened it. After taking a long drink she handed it to him. She thought of how they were best friends and cousins. They grew up in the same neighborhood and she always knew he was gay. He always knew too, and never tried to hide it. They had made plans to go to college, move off the reservation to a big city and act all artsy, sophisticated and cultural.

She moved away and had babies and got divorced from her abusive husband. He moved away and got HIV. Now they both lived back on the reservation.

They both worked. They were still best friends. She was in a current custody battle with her kids' dad and let them go with him for the weekend. He worked and tried to not talk about his disease.

I just need to get away today, she told her best friend. Let's go he said, grabbing a blanket, some malt liquor and cigarettes. All we need is this and my cell phone. They had been sitting on the other side of the dam where alcohol was legal.

She drank her malt liquor, smoked her cigarette and wondered why she never did anything with her life. Why did she move back here? Why did she drink?

Come sing with me. He said as he swayed back and forth to American Pie by Don McLean.

She looked at her sandals and swayed with him.

"This will be the day that I die...."

At that moment, despite everything in their lives, despite the conditions on the reservation, nothing mattered. She had her boy and her blanket and she sang.

No comments: