Another Way to View a River


Henry figured he’d jacked almost three hundred bucks from the convenience store as he raced across the parking lot jamming bills into his hoodie.  The store owner was ten yards behind him, arms flailing, when the girl Henry had passed earlier stuck out her foot.  The old guy took a header into a concrete bumper block.

Going up to the little place along the highway, ignoring his sweaty palms, Henry had noticed the sundress the teenager wore — a yellow thing he thought invited the sun to visit all the right places.  She’d been leaning back against a handicap parking sign, smoking, and staring him down under the mascara spackled over her eyes.

 

In the time it took Henry to hit the ignition and slam into first gear she’d jumped into his Pontiac.  He threw gravel gunning the car onto Route 9 as she shouted from the passenger side, “Shoulda parked closer to the door.  Better drive fast if you got any sense.”

The Pontiac had a full tank of gas and he had a roll of money.  Now, he could add this girl gripping the Jesus handle and laughing like a maniac.  He’d never quite seen a girl with this much energy.  It was Henry’s day, and his night as he drove most of it straight up the Thruway to Buffalo.  Damn, but that girl showed initiative, he marveled.

She told him her name was Angie and she chattered like a monkey all the way north, everything from her rotten family to the greaseball who almost made her pregnant to the tourists — she called them “bennies" — who vacationed in south Jersey every summer.





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