The Last Trip Together

Robert Quick

Where the -@!# did my muse go?

Writer, dreamer, knight, shackled by entertainment . . . and people.

I roused from my sleep enough to hear the low tones of conversation from the front of my car. It was stuffy under the blanket and I hadn't slept well besides. Worming my way slightly toward a more upward state, I adjusted the my pillow against the window and tried to rest. After three days of ten hour drives, I was burned out.

Conrad was driving, a concession I rarely make but I had been making mistakes for an hour before I abdicated my role as driver. It wasn't fair to put everyone at risk for my peace of mind or my pride. Next to him Ray was chatting away. The irritating whine he'd picked up on the second day of our trip had vanished and the two of them were having a normal conversation. Stranger yet, Conrad was actually responding with real answers instead of his perpetual half answers that he gave on a good day. Sometimes he plainly refused to hear questions asked of him. We had been friends a long time but he kept strong walls.

Alone in the back seat, doubt and jealousy swelled, and I stayed silent.


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