Friday, December 15, 2006
Leaving teaching, her arms filled with Christmas wrapping paper. She puts the bag down on a car so she can zip her jacket, then walk a few steps and see that it's not zipped properly. So she tries to put the bag on the hood of an SUV splattered with bird shit, but it falls off. There's a copy of the Holy Bible, title facing out, above the dashboard, clearly visible through the windshield, all tattered, the pages just hanging loose in it. It looks like those bibles one finds in hotel rooms.
At the first rest stop on the Parkway, a midget in red shirt and red elf cap fills her gas tank, the tip of his cap window-high. This is New Jersey. There's no self-service here. She's going to see her father, alone, for the first time in years, and not happy about it. She feels small.