July 17, 2013

Bruce Harris

 Flower Power

Liberty, the daughter of hippie parents sat smoking in a green Adirondack chair somewhere near the Vermont border. The VW van where she had been conceived was parked in the woods behind her, two flat tires, but maybe still running if keys could be found. She tossed the cigarette on the ground, immediately lighting another. She couldn’t remember moving to Vermont. The last recollection she had was working in a greeting cards store in downtown Boston. She was living in a studio apartment with a guy she’d met at a coffee shop. He was a student, younger than her. They made love only once despite sharing a bed. She never thought they would be roommates forever. He left Boston suddenly on a snowy morning without notice, sticking her with the month’s rent. She still liked the guy but she liked Vermont better. She couldn’t remember ever having driven the van but she remembered being in the back seat with her brother. Maybe he fixed flat tires now. She took a long drag on the cigarette. She got up from the chair and walked to the van and unscrewed the gas cap. She bent down and sniffed. She imagined a faint gasoline smell. When she was a kid she’d open the rear window of the van when the attendant pumped gas because she liked the gas smell. The window opened only a crack on the side. It was attached to a metal hinge. She tossed the remains of the cigarette into the gas tank. Nothing.


Bruce Harris had nothing to say about himself.

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