Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Excerpted from Sweet Spot (Road Trip)

Road Trip
August 31, 1981

His mother was murdered—I called our Little Rock neighbors first, asked Liz to check on Denis. His older brother phoned him with the news. After nine innings behind the plate, Denis was alone, probably smokin’ a jay, a frozen bag of peas on his left quad. I was in California with our daughter and infant son. That night he drove straight through—Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico—must’ve stopped somewhere for gas—maybe all cried out by Arizona. Before Denis hit our state line, husband number seven had her cremated; later, Ray showed us her plans for their new house.

We never talked about her—only the yellow nylon rope around her neck, carpet fibers in her hair, the Arizona desert road where a man riding a scooter found her. How she was robbed of her cash and credit cards. Later, the words that meant the most were “circumstantial evidence.”

She’d bought life insurance a few weeks before. We bought a Volkswagen bus with the money she left us. The orange-brown plaid curtains swung with every turn.

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