Alone Together

By Corey Miller

My Honda Civic has one more payment on it when I begin to rear-end a Kia Soul on I-90 westbound. I close my eyes to avoid the sound of glass shattering and open them to see that I’m now sitting in the Kia’s backseat, unscathed. The woman hasn’t noticed me and continues her phone conversation through the Bluetooth speaker. She talks to someone about the hospital — needing to visit grandma more. She sighs a response, puts on a blinker, and merges left into a Ford Fiesta. SIX_38AF1930-DEF9-4CA9-82E5-70E690EB4E4BWe crash the party becoming a threesome of vehicles. Bluetooth Lady and I are now the passengers to some dude rocking out way too hard to Dashboard Confessional thinking he’s all alone. He shrieks high off-pitched backup vocals and drums on the steering wheel, but I don’t think any of us are steering anymore. A Hyundai Sonata, comin’ in hot, gets sucked into us like water droplets forming a puddle, driving westward with the sun on our asses for the morning shift. I didn’t want to work at the office all day, however, I didn’t intend on this happening either. Every car is being welded together like one big-ass bus. The entrance ramp conjoins each car into us, making a hodgepodge radio of every station. I’ll have to miss NPR this morning. Everyone except me is oblivious to our attachment as they drive with their knees, check emails, pick noses, and listen to the fuckin’ Rick Steves’ podcast. Our lives have collided. Someone has a pine tree air freshener that offsets the forgotten sweet and sour chicken leftovers. Someone has a wet dog wanting to stick its head out the window. Someone is smoking weed next to a crying baby. Our seats have turned from a lonely sanctuary into a German bier hall where we all sit together, intoxicated and needing to piss, unable to break the seal. I wonder how no one has noticed me yet. It’s just like my office cubicle where my neighbors call me by the wrong name. The family in the camper talks about going out to dinner tonight. I want to chime in: What if there is no tonight? We approach my exit ramp. There’s no cord to pull and stop this. The front of the vehicle lifts up then climbs into the sky over Key Tower with car hoods for wings. Fuck. I didn’t pack anything.

Corey Miller lives with his wife in a tiny house they built near Cleveland. He is an award-winning Brewmaster who enjoys a good lager. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in X-R-A-Y, Barren, Cleaver, Bending Genres, Writers Resist, Hobart, Gravel, and Cease Cows. When not working or writing, Corey likes to take the dogs for adventures. Twitter: @IronBrewer

Art by Lesley C. Weston (Alcohol Ink)

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