David Fishkind

It churned a second longer than he expected, but it started. He pulled out, leaves gliding from the windshield, others rolling under tires. The night air bowled by his shoulder. It is… What was I, he thought, coughing. He turned a knob on the dashboard, ―Bodies with no traces, yuugh! this the life that we made, followed by a generic sample of two gunshots, ―in the dark like a sweet serenade. Eyes scanning the north side of the block for an empty spot, he pumped the brakes before hydrants and ambiguous vacancies. He leaned over to the window and felt the vehicle swerve. Quickly righting it, he peered past the side view mirror, beams of headlights blinding his field of vision. He sneezed as a yellow light turned red. A distant honking was honking. He turned south onto the avenue and left along the following perpendicular, craning his neck down the street in hopes of an unoccupied space. Passing one, he judged dubiously his ability to fit and watched in the rearview mirror as a truck performed the graceful act, backing parallel in between the two cars. North at the following avenue and down the previous block, again unsuccessfully, and further south once more. He began to feel as if he’d committed some political crime, he thought, in a dystopic future, wherein… I am an idiot. He assumed he had established a pattern for situations like this in the past, but recalling that now seemed unrealistic. He felt hungry and began to turn right, still distancing the car from the apartment. He pressed down hard on the brakes, coming to a stop in front of a middle aged man as their eyes met in mutual fear and hostility. Then again along the avenue and by the streets, retracing, the radio bragging, ―Ain’t worried about nothing, the awkward doing away with, imbibing the word, edited out, ―I ain’t worried about nothing.

He punched the knob in, silencing the stereo, turned down the heat and hit the steering wheel. His hazards on, as a car pulled out of a space in front of him, he jerked, backing into the curb, pulled out, repositioned. Headlights at his back, he rolled down the window and pointed at the spot violently shaking his head. He backed up again, too far to one side and wheezed, ―Fuck, to the give of the car in front of him. The scraping of paint as he sheered off from it and, dizzy and flushed, fled back into traffic.

He came upon another spot, nearer the apartment and wider and made his way in headfirst with ease. He closed his eyes. Little changed; he opened them. Stumbling across an overgrown root he turned and walked back to the car, confirming that the headlights were off and tried each door.