Walls of tin that someone convinced people were homes fade behind me, blurred by the fogged mirror and the frozen window I didn’t bother to scrape. It’s ice beneath me, not slush like it was this morning. My car isn’t equipped for it, especially in the pitch black, but it hasn’t been for the last few years and I’ve been fine.
No point in getting a new car if you aren’t going nowhere, he says.
I’m out of the trailer park and down Main Street soon, driving slowly enough to get passed by high schoolers in pick-ups but not too fast to avoid being stopped by the cop on 4th Ave. I recognize him as he scans my ID. Ethan Bjornson. He graduated with us but says nothing resembling recognition. He tells me to take it easy, that the roads are slick, and lets me go without a ticket.
You probably liked the attention, huh? he says. Such a slut.
I keep driving, passing one lake and thirty-three houses. I catch a glimpse of myself in the rearview mirror. I do not look like someone who belongs in one of these homes.
Put some makeup on, he says, or I’ll give you something to cover up.
Snow begins to fall, chunks crystallizing in the frigid air only to be stolen away by the wind. None stick to my windshield. I wish something would, maybe just one flake, so I could see some intricacy and beauty before turning around.
Come home right away, bitch, he says. I better not hear you went out after work.
My car begins to slide toward the water’s edge. I hit the brakes, but it’s ice beneath me, not slush like it was this morning.