The sky is blue in that way that it shouldn’t be, where it’s too good for us. If it were black and gray all the time, it wouldn’t be news, but instead, it’s blue despite everything. Fuzzy clouds cross the canvas like painted sheep. A distant airplane draws a knife across the blue.
You’re mad at me in the normal way that I deserve, and I’m trying to enjoy the cigarette that a man is smoking three cars down from mine. I have the kind of wicked, detached jealousy that only an addict that isn’t addicted can have. I’m not craving the nicotine or smell or even to look cool for the teenagers milling around the parking lot. There’s no symbol of self-destruction like a cigarette.
We’re at the rest area where Kentucky and Tennessee meet, so it only makes sense that the decades-old speakers above the vending machines spew distorted country music. I only hate country music because I’ve hated so many people who love it, and strong emotions like hate are things to be hoarded. It fits nicely along the pit of loneliness and doesn’t lose itself in the bite of spite.
I lose a lot to those comforts, but you’re still here. Still mad, maybe, but not caught in the things that have pushed other people away or swallowed them whole. I know that we’ll work through this. Because that’s how we work.
I fish through my pockets for change and ask if you want anything from the vending machines. You smile, and I know the reason why there are blue skies.
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