Vagabond (Road Trip)

img_1553With my aunt laid out in the back seat sick,

my sister took the passenger seat and we headed

east and north up the 395 stopping as minimally as possible.

The talk was non-existent except where it was strained.

I remembered road trips with my sister back in her teens and

early 20s when she was wanting to see the world

embrace it and find out so so much about it

when she had dreams and hopes and all those things

that are supposed to be ahead of you.

I tried not to think of hope with her in the car.

This is all your fault. You never should have ________________.

That blank could be anything, was anything.

I hadn’t hung out with her in seven years.

What was my fault anymore?

But it went deeper and longer than a 12-hour car ride

up 395 where the wind whips up to slate granite rock

and slides back down into your bones.

I wasn’t blaming myself for anything yet.

I was saving that for later.


Her eyes were wide and dead and gray

and her temper was on the edge of her seat.

She rocked back and forth–out of rhythm with the radio

but in time to her head.

Fuck you for trying to save me, she said.

and she was out of cigarettes and cash

and hated me.

About Margaret Elysia Garcia

Margaret Elysia Garcia is the author of short story ebook collection Sad Girls and Other Stories, and the audiobook Mary of the Chance Encounters, and the co-founder and lead playwright of Las Pachucas, theatrical troupe. She teaches creative writing and theatre in a California state prison.
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