Indigo Sky in Port-au-Prince
With Mother gone to bed, I can sneak out the window, into Ben's car, crushing popcorn boxes, cigarette butts and torn ticket stubs. My weekend smile squiggles, slinks onto my face as the Chevy blazes down the road, Bob Marley on the eight-track. Ah, the outlaw joy of escape! I'm crossing over the border of Mother's realm of power. When the tires crunch on the coquina driveway of Cafe Creole, dust dances in a lazy tornado, a flannel blanket around the car.
Dirty neon lights dangle from the ceiling beams, flickering on and off without rhythm, their twisty green wires crooked like chicken bones strung together on a string. I hear the music in my chest, vibrating, waiting, a wave that flattens my thoughts, washes them away with a mindless, insistent staccato. I become part of its pulse as it pulls me out of myself.
The moon is blue in the indigo sky. And there's this one star -- fiery, blazing. A tiny slice of yellow, a twisted lemon peel, lies at the bottom of the moon. Mother wouldn't let me be Ben's star. "No, you're not going to that night club. For chrissake, you're only fourteen. And I don't like that Ben kid." I rest my cheek on the starched whiteness of Ben's shirt.
On the dance floor, unhooked pelvises work so butts pivot around their axes. There are cocktail stirrers everywhere, like abandoned games of pick-up-sticks. Ben is mad because some guy gets me a Prestige beer at the bar. I hear the purr of his engine cranking. Clunk. Ben shifts into gear. I listen as the night gobbles up the humming of his motor. As he disappears. Leaving me in the parking lot of the club, things biting my legs, crawling all over me.
An engine idles beside me. Headlights glare past me now, staring into the path of trodden grass Ben has paved. "Get in," Mother says. She slowly turns the Isuzu Trooper around, pushes play, and doesn't say another word. Bob Marley. The tires spin on the dry gravel. I adjust the rear view mirror: a lazy tornado spins in the distance.
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