because i told you my mind is all over the place and that i needed to write a story (or twelve)...
~a very short story by l.a. carpenter
She sat in a truck bouncing along down a dirt road that was flooded in places. The cab was filled with laughter and music and books sliding off of the dashboard as they rambled on, drinking out of cans.
The four o'clock sun pushed through the gaps in the trees. It touched the spread fingertips of the saw palmettos that seemed to be elbowing their way up out of chaotic bushes and defiantly ceasing at the knees of the pines.
The dappled light, the quick-moving clouds, the pines and the palms whizzed by the window of the truck and she knew a very lovely, very bittersweet memory was being formed inside of her.
There have been other dirt roads. There have been barefoot walks with a lover in the summer. Barefoot walks with pockets full of small, rough-edged stones as a child. There have been frost-bitten treks across marshes with large grey cranes huddled under each others' wings. This was another dirt road for her to look fondly upon.
This was a tail-gate and dangling feet. This was swaying to beautiful sad songs and an arm around her shoulders. This was realizing how long it had truly been since she smiled at someone for that long and laughed with her head thrown back.
Later she sat at her table, drinking cheap wine and looking around the house. This house would be empty soon. Pieces of her world would be empty soon as well. Great big pieces. For someone so seemingly full of life, sadness always seemed able to creep in and sit down with her; a drinking buddy of sorts.
The tantalizing simplicity of the day on the dirt road made her long to live it all over again. It made her want to shut down her mind for a minute and just shut up in general. It made her want to smile wide and laugh as a truck cut through water and fanned mud above the windows, jostling her closer to...something. Perhaps toward something simple and pleasant that she could keep with her all the time.