Technology Canít Take the Heat
Joanne Faries
Dorsal Winner

† Ty was sleeping. I re-adjusted the left air-conditioner vent. Maybe move his to face me? Nah, that wouldnít be thoughtful. Canít seem to get comfortable and this is my car, my lovely black Grand-AM GT. Twelve days is too much. Who thought up this trip? Tight suspension rattles my bones.† Crappy left speaker wire is loose, noticeably scratchy on Van Halenís ďRunning With the Devil.Ē †

Mmm, a pack of ding-dongs. Canít reach, darn cakes are two inches too far. Donít need Ďem anyway. Road trips obliterate a diet. Empty calories mount as quickly as the miles when you can drive over eighty. Got this car up over one hundred in Wyoming. Not for long, and it shook like crazy, but it was exhilarating. Love the blurs of brush and cattle. The eyes and brain couldnít focus on signs, just ears hearing the whirr of wind and engine growl. ††

Ty snorts. Damn, is he bossing me in his sleep? Telling me to slow down? Sunlight streams onto his face, highlighting his freckles and reddish stubble. Gosh, I love this guy. Now if I swerve a bit, maybe heíll wake up and talk. †

† Iíll sigh real loud. No response. Think of the Tetons, Cherie. Cold. Snow. Huge flakes mingled with a sleeting rain at the top of Jackson Hole. We huddled together in the ski lift wearing our shorts and light jackets. I shiver at the thought, then, back in this moment, swipe at the sweat under my knees. †

† If I donít get more air, Iím gonna swoon. I tap at our middle vent and this awakens Ty. ďSomethiní to eat,Ē he says and I pull into the next Arizona pit stop. Everything is beige and wrung out from the sun. Jorgeís Cafť awning droops, faded into a dull straw color. We slide into a booth and stick to the plastic seating. A lazy fly buzzes in the window, in as much of a stupor as us. Now I hate how Ty gulps runny eggs and limp bacon. This soggy lettuce in my club sandwich is depressing. No words. We shrug, pay the tab, and shuffle out.† Wall of heat oppresses, compresses. Yow, my fingers sizzle on the door handle. I knew my fat butt cheeks would miss my towel. Iíll have sear marks on my behind.† †

† I hear Ty curse and shake the GPS unit. All of his information is obliterated. Miles tracked, gas usage, timing. It went stark raving mad, heat stroke, from the temperatures. I might soon. Ty needs to rev the car and crank the air. Let me unfold an old-fashioned map, point with a sweaty finger, and continue this trail of perspiration.†††††† †

First published: Aug, 2008
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