The road is gold and slippery from fallen leaves. Sunlight flashes across my face in time with the broken white lines painted on the tarmac. I can feel the rotting humidity of the sunset on my face and the dry heat of the engine on my knuckles, clattering and coughing and needing oil. When I floor the gas it rattles like stones inside a beer keg thrown down a hill, but this is just the warning siren, like on a police car. This is the signal to get the fuck out of my way.
She’s completely gone. Curled up, sitting on one foot; the other leg drawn up tight to her chest. When I swerve around corners, her head lolls from side to side. If I want to feel her breathing I take a sharp left and she slumps towards me, held up only by the seatbeat. She leans across, as though wanting to tell me a secret, mouth agape and with a gentle waterfall of saliva down her chin. When I take a sharp right she falls across and clunks her head on the window. Sometimes she scratches her thigh, sometimes she smacks her lips together, but she never wakes up.
During the long journeys, I can tell when she slips into dreams. She stops snoring and becomes deathly still except for the occasional twitch. Often, in these deep dark periods, she will mutter her ex-boyfriends name. But it doesn’t bother me, because I’m still the luckiest man alive.