The wrinkled impressions from the bed sheets paint red streaks across her ass that goes BANG-BANG as she walks to the bathroom, muscles tweaking firm beneath that tight vanilla skin, the smell of which fills the still air between the blank hotel walls. The clock radio blares with an electric DING-DONG, louder and LOUDER until Vince swings blindly, arm tearing through the sheets towards the source, and slams the screaming plastic alarm with a limp wrist before feeling around and yanking the cord from the wall. He lies in the bed and waits for the desire to move. When he hears the toilet FLUSH, a shadow appears at the end of the bed. Out of instinct, he leans up gently on his elbows, nose foremost, and finds the nude silhouette of the girl tip-toeing through the dark, all hips and gait as she careens in a tawdry stretch. Mornin’, she says softly, moving quietly across the room to the window and pulls the curtains back, letting the light invade the room. Vince squints but can still see her tits and ass bounce playfully through the slits in his eyes as she wanders from the window into the heart of the room, kicking at the towels and pillows cases strewn in random locations across the floor with a bare foot, searching for her scattered garments. She does not speak and seems to approach the silence with a guarded regularity that allows Vince to drift off again. Letting his head fall back on the bed, he stares at the ceiling for a few moments before closing his eyes, the daylight glowing softly through his thin lids as he tongues the roof of his dry mouth, tastes his sour breath and yawns hard enough to make his eardrums POP. Resting quietly, he can hear the familiar groan of planes taking off (or landing) as the girl dresses, working her fingers along the cuffs of her blouse, slipping on her shoes and wiggling her ankles into place. She digs around in her purse for discs of make-up which click and clatter as her arm moves deeper before running a brush quickly through her tangled hair which grinds and catches with a kink inside the matted tangles.
Vince rolls over searching for, Jus five mo’minutes, he thinks to himself and waits anxiously for the girl to finish, Oh – Hurry it up child. He remains still, breathing heavily into the coarse hotel bedding, giving the clear indication that he WILL NOT be bothered. A few minutes pass and he begins to feel a needling pressure prickle up in his bladder as nature comes calling, but he manages to appear lifeless beneath the sheets and waits intolerantly for the girl to depart. He hears the sound of her re-capping a tube of lipstick which clicks shut and after she ZIPPS her bag shut, she turns to pivot and pauses. Almost, he utters to himself, remaining motionless on his face and feels the girl’s eyes slowly graze across the twisted blankets that cover his body. He listens for her breath in the void beyond the bed, That’s it – Getta move-on now, and a wave of relief rolls over him as the girl’s footsteps scuffle along the carpet towards the door, the snap of the latch engaging, the door opening then closing, and scratch of the DO NOT DISTURB sign swinging from the knob outside.
Immediately, Vince sits up wearily and examines his surroundings, rubbing his eyes into focus as he looks around the room before tearing off the sheets and climbing out of bed. He lumbers toward the bathroom in a sightless rush and paws clumsily in the dark for the light switch which his fingers find above the sink. The halogen bulbs ignite slowly, blink-blinking sluggishly before beaming and humming alive. He coughs-up a cud of phlegm and drops the hawk into the toilet with a stream of piss grinding against the bowl. He watches it loathingly as the curd slowly oozes down the smooth porcelain basin and into the golden froth.
Leaning against the counter for support, he twists on the sink nozzle and dives his face into his palms, splashing the cold water against his skin and slurping up the runoff. He works his hands across his head and feels down to his bristly cheeks, then stands upright, grabs a towel off the rickety metal shelf fastened to the wall and dabs his mug with a sigh, gazing into his droopy sockets looking back and examining his silver stubble, the boyish glint in his tired blue eyes too gray to recognize.
He putters through the room on his heels, now in no real rush to find his bearings. He wonders what time it is but sees the dead clock on the night stand standing between two double beds (one untouched) and sits down. He can feel the vessels inside his skull throb less and less as he slowly becomes more awake. Lunging forward, his flicks the television on and a pundit’s voice comes POUNDING out with headlines: Optimism reigns that Nashville will weather recession – Many homeless at risk of dying – More churches enlist money guru – The time is 9 o’clock. He shuts the television off and rises to a stretch, elongating his arms to their knobby capacity.
The light from the window burns Vince’s eyes as he walks over, coughing-up another wad of snot, this time swallowing. He finds his underwear en route balled-up beside the empty dresser and picks them up with his toes. At the window he leans against the pane and looks out at the highway below. Past it, the control tower peeks-up from the earth in the heart of the airport, a tiny little monolith protruding from the emerald veneer of the valley, the shine of its antennas vaguely visible in the morning’s gruff ambiance. Vince watches a plane descending in the distance, losing gravity, gliding lower and lower, the blast from its engines MOAN against the glass which rattles as the aircraft’s wings vibrate in the headwind and a vapor trail streaks from behind and expands in the whirling draft. Looking deeper into the glass, he sees his nude reflection staring back, his saggy, love-handled frame hanging flaccid in a slouch. He cranes his head looking deeper, inspecting his form with which time and gravity have had their way. The plane disappears behind the crest of the horizon. He closes the drapes.
Dressed and disheveled, Vince lurks down the hall through the dimly lit corridor towards the elevator, moving swiftly as he buttons his shirt. He presses the DOWN button and waits for a few moments, but the elevator doesn’t come so he presses the button again, this time more forcefully and growing more aggravated. Damn lift, he mutters, his exasperation is apparent and draws the concerned stares from a maid ushering a cart of towels and sheets up the hall. Vince smiles politely at the woman’s disparaging gaze before turning and making his way to the stair case. The door closes behind him with a BLAST and the resonance crashes harshly against the wall as he hurries down to the ground floor, his feet shuffling swiftly and echoing across the dry rubber surface.
He takes a deep breath before pushing into the lobby, slowing his pace into an upright trot, arms tick-tocking back and forth as he saunters past the front desk and gives the clerk a quick salute of recognition. The clerk bobs his head in acknowledgement then looks back down at his desk.
Outside the sun has begun to burn through the morning haze, filling the atmosphere with bright light beaming in all directions. In the roundabout at the entrance, a flock of senior citizens wait in a queue beside the coach, MUSIC CITY MINIBUS is plastered along the vehicle’s flanks and the elderly bystanders wear folksy expressions as they wait patiently to be carted off and paraded around town with bulky cameras draping from their necks below their hulking sunglasses and crumpled visors, the corrosive fume of old lady perfume filling the air. An old woman applies suntan lotion to her husband’s bald head, BUBBALA – HOLD STILL, she howls. A short man with a hunch leans over and snaps a shot of Vince as he struts to his car, a black Mercedes sedan with chrome trim parked at the end of the lot. He approaches admiringly and plops behind the wheel then revs up the engine as the door chime DINGS-DINGS above the stereo BLARE. Vince inspects his face in the rear view mirror, thinking, Aww – Coulda used ah shave – But it aint that bad now – Looks good – I would look good in a beard, before swinging the door shut and pealing out of the lot.
Shit still smells lika p****, Vince gripes, rolling the windows down, letting the warm breeze flow across his face, the odor of gasoline eking up from the asphalt. The west bound traffic is bumper to bumper going into the city and he darts the nose of the purring Mercedes from one lane to another, weaving around behemoth eighteen-wheelers and horse trailers gradually chugging along. After shifting lanes, the one he merged from seems to start moving faster so he shoots back carelessly, evoking the irritated horns and scowls from drivers behind him who he ignores, more concerned with working the dial of he radio before zipping into the next lane. He spins through the dial, but its all advertisements: Tennessee Lottery games are entertaining and easy to play! – Come enjoy a Bellevue restaurant that’s worth the drive. He flicks the dial off with a fit, glances over his shoulder, and changes lanes.
By the time he gets to the office it’s eleven. He feels as if he’s had to cross oceans and mountains to get there. In the downstairs atrium, a man sits watching television behind the security desk. His fat neck seems to flow out and over the collar of his wide-cut suit and tie as he shoots a cagy glance at Vince who avoids eye contact as he presses the elevator button and waits. The air inside is cool and the heels of his shoes CLICK-CLACK against the smooth marble floor. The sound reminds him of a flamingo-legged woman in high heels and the image excites him. Pacing back and forth, he works up the courage to nod at the guard, Morin’ partna, Vince says. The guard does not respond, but bobs head slowly before returning his cold stare to the screen as the elevator doors open.
Vince strolls past the receptionist, a busty blonde with perfect ivory colored skin rearranging her headset, the soft muscles of her milky arms flex as she looks up at Vince and gives an assuming but warm glimpse, taking no note of his tardiness, which makes him feel safe. Good morning, he says, greeting her formally and sucking in his waist. She smiles back, Well – Hello Mista Ford – Howya doin’? Very good, thankya fo’ askin’, he replies over his shoulder as he slinks past, moving down the hallway to his door.
He has never been so glad to see the inside of his office. The room is dim and he paces past the cobalt couch resting behind a glass coffee table. He checks the drawers of his desk for aspirin and finds a bottle, but it’s empty so he falls back into his swivel chair, slouching down, and tries to rest his eyes when there’s a knock at the door. Vince sits up straight, Who is it? he asks at an alarmed volume. Mail, a voice murmers. No one important, he thinks, Come on in. The door swings open and a boy with a slight frame appears from behind it. Hello, Mister Ford, he says, his squeaky voice lending itself to his slight, adolescent form. Howsit goin’ kido, Vince says, shooting a quick glance at the boy’s name tag, Sam? The boy is clasping a short stack of envelops with both hands, I’m good, he says. Vince grabs the telephone from his desk and cradles it, as if to look preoccupied, Thanks – Just drop that anywhere, and the boy holds the stack out over the end of the desk, Yeah – That’s good, Vince assures him, Thanks ah ton. And Sam smiles without responding and moves towards the door. Open or closed? he asks obligingly, reaching for the knob. Yeah – Closed is good, Vince says as he pretends to dial away at the key pad, cradling the phone between his ear and shoulder, looking inattentive. He watches as the boy slowly shuts the door then hangs up.
Vince waits until he can hear the sound of the mail cart tinkering down the hall, away from his door then rises and walks around his office. He turns and faces the window, peeking through the blue Venetian blinds before pulling down the drawstring and letting the sunlight to pour in. He inhales deeply then shuffles over to the mini fridge beneath the metal cabinetry studded to the wall his office shares with the hallway. Swinging the small door open, he grabs a bottle of water, cracks the cap, and inhales the fluid in what feels like a single gulp, Umm - Thas nice, he grumbles.
Dropping the bottle in the empty trash can beside his desk, Vince picks up his telephone and checks his messages: Marty from upstairs wants to meet today, Free Flu shots next week, The wife just checking-in – How’s Atlanta? Call me when ya get this. He hangs up the phone, sits back down, then reaches for the stack of mail and begins to shuffle through the stack, All garbage, and shucks the papers into the trash.
He turns around in his chair and peers out the window. Sitting in silence, he gazes out at the city below and watches the tiny lines of cars slither up Music Row and down Demonbreun Street which rolls out towards the skyline that frames the horizon to the east. The blue sky glows with a brilliant indigo shine offset by wandering clusters of cotton clouds painting vague shadows across the washed-out city below. Nashville’s minor skyscrapers dot the background and tangled phone cables line the streets. Beyond the highway stands a billboard beaming pink and black in the dusty air: DÉJÀ VU presents SHOWGIRLS – 50 BEAUTIFUL GIRLS and 3 ugly ones. The scene reminds him of the surface of some Martian planet, barren, desolate and covered with grime as he peers down from his high-rise crag, lonely like an astronaut.
His mind begins to wander and he attempts to relive the past twenty-four hours. He thinks about the girl, Whas that now? – Three? – Four times? – Guess, I’ve lost count, muttering with a shrug. He tells himself he should be smarter, but the thought melts away. He thinks about calling his wife, but fails to muster the energy. He pictures her at home, resting calm and safe in the neatly manicured confines of their neighborhood: pools, paperboys, potted plants and all the other things that make no difference to him. He can almost smell the aroma of freshly cut grass in his office as he imagines their street. She’ll be alright, he convinces himself as his eyes roll across the urban sprawl below. He feels a wave of restlessness come over him and finds his teeth clenched harshly and both of his hands clasped tightly in fists. He rolls his neck then tries to pull his shoulders back and fill his lungs with air.
Vince hears someone stirring in the hall behind him, footsteps and voices muffled by the hallow drywall. He hops up and moves cautiously towards the door. Outside, he sees Trig standing beside the receptionist counter flirting with the blonde behind it, trying to stare down her spacious shirt with his sunken eyes. Hearing Vince, Trig looks up startled and then, seeing Vince, smiles and says, Hey Brotha – How’s it hangin’? and he turns back to the blonde, I was just think about gettin’ somethin’ ta eat, to Vince, but looking at the girl, offering the invitation open to any takers, pawing his grey goatee with a vein-ridged hand.
Trig is audio engineer extraordinaire, a relic from the early days, a man who speaks of the venerable greats by their first names. He started as a roadie, made his reputation as a studio technician for anyone and everyone who’s made in it Nashville. He discovered and encouraged many of the performers that are now household names, but has not discovered anybody of worth in years and his main function is to serve as the totem figure of the Label for longevity and tradition.
You in, Vinny-baby? He asks. Not a bad idea, Vince says looking back at Trig, examining his tattered ponytail and the ragged flannel shirt he wears baggily over his lanky torso. And what ah bout you, sweetie-pie? He says to the girl, his oyster lips smiling as he leans over further, taking one last gander at the girl, big enough to last. She smiles up coquettishly and opens a drawer beside her, producing a brown lunch bag neatly folded at the top and dangles it between Trig’s leathery face and her ballooning chest. Aww, too bad for you then – Huh, darlin’? The girl continues to smile. Come on then Vinny – Les get ourselves ah real meal. Lead the way, Vince says, feeling relaxed. Oh – Mista Ford, the girl interrupts, Will you be back in the office today? Vince stops, his eyes looking around in laid-back contemplation, Yes, I will – If anyone asks, tell’em I’ll be in later. And the girl smiles and nods, Very good then – Enjoy yalunch.
…well, haveya ever thought about takin’ yaself ah vacation, Trig says over a basket of chicken wings drenched in blood-red buffalo sauce that oozes across the white wax paper. He took Vince to a bar off Hillsboro Road in the Village, a smoky place favored by frat boys, sorority girls, and other young kids from the neighborhood. He’s dropping ashes on his untouched food that lies cold in grease. Already he has announced that if he had taken off ALL the vacation days he is entitled to, Vince wouldn’t see him, For ah whole fuckin’ year, brotha – Haven’t hada proper giddaway in YEARS – But vacations aint what they used ta be – People always tryin’ to get a-HOLD of ya with them emails or mobiles – There aint no such thing as ah proper vacation no more – Same goes for the BIZ as ah whole. He’s on his third Jack & coke. Vince is trying to force down his second.
And it’s not just the BIZ that’s changed, man – It’s the music – The music ain’t what it used ta be, know what I mean? He grabs a wing from the basket and sniffs the wet crust before dropping it and takes another drag. These cats these days, brotha – They don’t even understand what it takes ta make ah good record – Probably cause they’ve never heard one – Haha – All this jobs ah bout these days is makin’ pretty faces look good on ah stage – Hell, it’s not like any acts are actually WORKIN’ for their sound no more – Don’t write the songs – Don’t play the instruments – HA – But I remember ah day when it wasn’t so…so, he picks up his glass and finishes his drink, so…cheap.
He tells Vince that there was a golden age of Hank, Merle, and Cash, then a silver age in which he played a modest role. Vince nods encouragingly as Trig goes on to say, Think we jus skipped the bronze age bhoy and went straight ta the dark ages – It aint even country no more – Radio’s all fulla Canadians and Australians singin’ bout any ol’sorta stuff and people DIG it so long as it’s sung with ah TWANG – Hell, ya even got negroes singin’bout DIXIE DIXIE DIXIE – Now THAT’S ah new’un. He laughs and Vince shakes his head politely. Trig continues, Anyways – It’s all amplified, recorded, and digitized now – Completely uninspired shit. Vince nods again in affirmation, knowing the issues of which Trigs speaks have no real bearing or concern to him. Don’t be seduced by all the crap about glitter and glam, Trig says, looking to the side, None of it got nothin’ ta do with cuntry – Platinum PISS.
He flags for two more Jacks. You got it made though, he says, All of this bullshit jus suits ya just fine don’t it – You money-men understand the game – I hear that and thas aight – You get ah product and sell it – Business, right? Vince smiles, I am but a mere foot solider, he says, The real decisions are handed down from…above. Trig shrugs and stuffs his cigarette out. Like I said – I get all that – Business is business, he mutters almost inwardly, It’s these – whatcha call’em? – A&R people…more concerned with how a singer looks than how one actually sings…It’s all backwards ifya ask me.
The waitress comes with the drinks and says to Trig, I guess you weren’t that hungry – Wasn’t it any good? she says looking at the plate full of food. Can I get ya somethin’ else? She has curly gold locks pulled back to look like a German barmaid and a low-cut shirt in an effort to encourage gratuities. O – I’m doin’ jus fine now thata you’re here honey-bunny, Trig beams as the waitress smiles with a wink, moving quickly to collect the basket of cold wings and takes them away.
…mmm-MMM – You know why I like ta come ta this place, Trig asks. Vince, already having a feeling, shakes his head, feeling the alcohol trickle as it begins to take hold, and allows Trig to continue uninterrupted. Cause of all the sweet young pussy runnin’ around – It’s nuff ta make ah poor fella like me Ka-razy. He taps his fingers against the rim of his glass reminiscently and looks at Vince straight in the eye with a devilish grin which exposes his chipped teeth gritted with tar and tartar. So you’re married right? he asks, Tell me how dats treating ya?
Thing are good – Sure aint bad, if that’s whatcher askin’, Vince says then reaches for his fresh glass and takes a swig which burns all the way down his gullet as he tries to assume a manly expression, eyes fluttering until the flame drifts away. Wanting to divert the subject, Vince revives Trig by asking about Cash, with whom Trig supposedly worked with back in the day. He tells him about a four-week, sex-fueled carouse soaked with whiskey and stuffed with pills, Wazzah different game back then – Lemmie tell ya, he says looking off nostalgically as he leans backward, the way it should be…
They share another round (and another), feeling the healing properties of the alcohol take effect as their blood vessels begin to loosen and they loose track of time. The day rolls by without a thought, both men only moving periodically to use the rest room or flag down a waitress, who now all look the same. At one point Vince steps outside to call the office from the payphone on the sidewalk out front, Heya Thompson – No, yeah – Tomorrow is good – I’m out at the studio right now – With who? Trig – Yeah, Tell me about it – I’m not sure when I’ll be back – Ten tomorrow morning? – That works – Ten A.M. sharp – See ya then. He hangs up the receiver and listens to his change fall into the belly of the phone box. He stands for a moment with his hand on the phone, feet frozen to the brick ground, and thinks about calling the house, Oppsss – Spent all my change, he thinks, remaining silent. He doesn’t check his pockets. A biker tears down Hillsboro on a brassy black hog, the ROOM-BOOM of the engine shakes him like thunder from a short trance. He turns, sighs, and goes inside.
Trig hardly notices when Vince says goodbye to him behind the bar. His posture is bowed and his nose he pointed down in the direction of his beaten cowboy boots, his eyes glazed with bourbon and memories. Vince feels a little glazed himself. The sun has begun its tired slide towards the horizon and the sky glows citrus orange. Three black men unload a trunk behind the Belcourt Theater across the road, rolling hulking speakers cautiously down a ramp. They pause briefly and stare at Trig and Vince as they stagger across the street to the car. The men look at each other and share a laugh before dabbing the sweat glistening across their dark brows and recommence their work.
Vince leaves Trig in the parking lot, Yeah, brotha – I think I might as well walk from here – Got a few stops of my OWN ta make, he says and Vince shrugs, Whateva you want fella, he says and shakes Trig’s hand. I’m tellin’ ya brotha – Takeya ah vacation – You could use it, Trig says before releasing Vince’s hand.
Driving back to the office is complicated by the preceding hours of persistent alcohol consumption, forcing Vince to pay extra close attention to the whirling lines on the road that won’t stay still and it feels more like he’s riding a Ferris wheel opposed to an automobile. Concentrating as intensely as possible, he brakes and swivels down Music Row, almost missing his turn before pulling into the lot of his building, now, almost empty with the exception of a few vehicles.
In the downstairs atrium, Vince finds that the security guard has left for the day as he waits for the elevator. All is quite when he arrives on his floor. All the lights have been turned off leaving the soft glow of the radiating sunset blushing in through the windows of the weakly illuminated corridor. Vince finds that the receptionist’s desk has been vacated as he slowly passes, feeling a letdown, and struts clumsily over the carpet as the boozes wrestles his sense of balance. Wandering along vacantly, he looks out one of the windows, the extreme sensation of loneliness mounting across his shoulders. As the sun dips down below the hazy grey skyline, the top of one distant mid-rise building seems to smolder pale and pink, like the glowing cherry of a neon cigarette that makes him think of Trig.
There’s a noise down the foyer. Vince follows the sound coming from the conference room at the end of the hall. He peaks his head inside and finds a fat Hispanic from the cleaning crew grappling with a garbage bag. The man pauses briefly to scratch his handle-barred moustache and slowly palms his round potbelly, looking bemused as he putters through the drudgery of his task. Good even-ning, the man says shaking out the bag like a dirty rug, the thin cellophane crinkling, making a meshing sound as it’s forced onto a waist bin. Vince nods and turns away. He continues to wander aimlessly around the office, listening to his feet scrape across the floor as he drags his heels, stopping every so often to glance calmly out the window. He thinks about calling his wife, but cannot muster the urge.
As he opens his door, he’s pleased to find the blonde curled up across his couch like a snoozing kitten, her white calves resting gently on the armrest, her chest stacked like a vanilla wedding cake. He stands over her for a few moments and watches her rest peacefully before flicking the lights on. Good evening, he says soft, trying not to slur. She blinks disoriented and stretches out her arms in a way that makes her back arch just so and make the boyish glint return to Vince’s eyes, burning through the whisky glaze as a smile spreads across his face.
What time is it? The girl asks as she slowly sits up, gently massaging her temples with the butts of her palms. It’s time ta go, Vince says, plopping down on the couch beside her, lumbering awkwardly across the cushions as he leans back and throws his arms around the girl. Is that right? the girl asks, And where would you be goin’? Vince makes a gaudy expression as he leans in closer, I’m goin’ where YOU goin’, he says, smirking slyly, making the girl blush. Well, Vinny – Glad I didn’t hold my breath for ya, she says grabbing Vince’s hand to read his watch, Seven-thirty? – Good GRIEF, she blurts, still holding Vince’s arm. She can smell the alcohol on his breath and knows he’s ripe for the picking. Told ya I’d be back for ya, girl, he says leaning in further with a childish grin. They sit for a few moments waiting for the other to speak then Vince takes the girl’s hand and places it firmly on his crotch, tips back, and holds it in place. She rests it there, looking out the window, feeling the sharp groove of his zipper and the caveat between his belt and groin before pulling her arm away. You dawg you, she chirps cutely feigning her disgust, Thas nasty. Well, if I remember correctly, Vince cheeks a Valentine’s-smile, Thas not what you were sayin’ last NIGHT. The girl shrugs and squints coquettishly, craning her head to the side before rising off the couch. We’ll if we’re gonna go, she announces, Leastya can do is feed me after standin’ me up ALL afta-noon. Vince waggles his jaw, licking his lips slowly, and says, Whateva you want, girl – So long as you do the drivin’, holding out his keys which dangle from his fingers. Now that, the girl says as she reaches out, smelling the barroom sweat emanating from Vince’s skin, is ah GOOD idea.
As the girl climbs behind the wheel, Vince watches her taut thighs pump and brush together against the leather interior from the passenger seat, her ruby pumps slowly finding the cool black pedals. He reaches for her as she adjusts the rearview mirror but she slaps him away, OFF, she barks, NOT while I’m drivin’. Vince laughs it off and looks away. Where we gonna eat, Vinny, she asks as they pull away. Les get room service, he replies. Not AGAIN, she sighs, her voice creasing into a whine, I wanna actually GO somewhere. Vince pauses in deliberation as he weighs out the odds, somewhere in his hazy mind knowing discretion is of the utmost importance. OK, he says, Fuck it – We’ll go to the Waffle House ifya SO starving – I aint even hungry. The girl does not respond and keeps her eyes fixed on the road, handily concealing her disappointment, but she knows the game and rolls with the punches. You betta get somethin’ in that belly of yours ifya wantcha strength fo’later, she says smiling, her plump red lips spreading across her face.
They sit silently as she guides the nose of the Mercedes onto the ramp and they start to chug east down the interstate with the setting sun to their backs. The motor purrs below the hood. The wind from the road drafts heavily against the windows as the tires spin across the asphalt. Feeling loopy, Vince tilts back in his seat and, stretching out, he looks out at the purple sky ahead and watches the branches along the roadside bending up from the fence-lined bramble swinging low in the breeze. In the distance he makes out a form, small at first but growing larger, and the outline of an airplane emerges on the horizon, whirling in slow rotations, like a buzzard patrolling the ground below from the blank regions above. Its wingspan glides down, gracefully slipping from the heavens, its nose foremost as it cuts across the sky. Vince squints and sharpens his eyes as the jet moves closer and closer. It begins to soar lower, plummeting sleekly through the atmosphere lined by migrant smoke, its polished metal frame sparkling brightly in the waning rays of sunlight, drifting faster towards the earth, taillights blinking like diamonds, engines roaring like lions. Wheels out and cleared for landing.
Adam’s writing has recently appeared or is forthcoming in 3 A.M. Magazine, Johnny America, Pank, Storyglossia, and Underground Voices. His story "Star-Spangled Enterprise" is/was a nominee for Best of the Net 2009. He is the author of an ebook, The Nurse and The Patient (Pangur Ban Party, 2009). He lives in Brooklyn and works in publishing. Visit him here: http://adamadamadamadamadam.