Driving North by F. John Sharp

A French-Canadian woman I have never met waits for me in a small town by the Hudson Bay, tending bar or selling bait, slapping away friendly hands of the local men she has long ago spent her interest in. She has tried to leave but aging parents are black holes and escape velocity is impossible when one has only maneuvering jets.

My GPS is in the glove box, any road north will do. I’ll stop when I hit water. I can live in my truck till the weather turns, taking odd jobs, fishing for dinner, killing time on a bar stool until yesterday and last week are last month and last year, until I stop wondering if anyone still cares that I’m gone. Escape velocity is easier when gravity is so impotent.

One day I’ll sit at the right bar or buy the right bait, and dull eyes will spark. I will struggle to understand her accent and she will give me a cot in the back. I will explain to her there is always gas in the rocket, and she will say maybe tomorrow or sometime longer than hat.

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