“Aren’t you just happy now? Love is a downhill motion. And that’s all I’ll say about that. It starts out at the top, yeah sure. But it just slides on down from there. Not that you’re asking. Every day, you just gets more tired, and alone, and… whatever. Not that you want my advice. Just don’t have your hopes up. Cuz that’s the only way they can slide on down.”
For 13 years, Marcy walked out of work at 3pm. Frank, The Cheap-O, wouldn’t let her put in a full-time week. So, 8-3 it was. 35hrs. 5 days. 12 years. No health care. This year, Obamacare. Not that that helps anyway. How could she afford it? But it was a good job because it bought her the truck. She loved that Road Monster.
For 13 years, the Schoolgirl walked down Gallitan after school, breaking right on Hart. All that time, she went to school on down the way– 3 schools actually, clustered together, Elementary on up to High School. Every day just about the same time Marcy walked out of work, Schoolgirl would turn the corner. There were two sidewalks on this corner, one low on the street, one up near the old brick office– where Cheap-O kept his thumb on Marcy, which walked on a few yards to the parking lot– where the Road Monster waited amorously for her. For 12 years Schoolgirl turned the corner of Hart and Gallitan alone. This year, she had a friend with her. A boy. Tall, macho, latin, thin lip hair. What was his name? Who cares. Shitstache. That’ll stick.
Marcy didn’t mind them at first. It was a sad sight to see such dumb, whatever, “love.” A few weeks on though Marcy grew tired of the pair. Always giggling as they hurried past below her. He carrying her bag. What an unspoken lie that was. They should’ve asked her what she thought. Probably needed some parentals in their life. A little wisdom. A little guidance from someone getting on. One day, probably too late though, she looked down, drawling it all out beyond her usual Southern, drunk on her own gray-haired sagacity “Aren’t you just happy now….”
This to literally no effect at all. She sat in the Road Monster and his humming consoled her. She and the Road Monster might go downhill, sure. But they’d always come right back uphill. As high up as she wanted. He would listen to her.
It’s winter and the wind is cold. Marcy hustles the 17 steps towards Road Monster. Looking up out of her scarf at the last moment, ready with her keys, she sees them. Not on their sidewalk down below. But rightthere, between the driver’s side door, Marcy, and the brick wall that blocks the wind. Marcy has never been so close, never seen their eyes like this. They are silent, staring at one another. Tears nearly frozen on their cheeks. In the midst of disaster. There is a long cold pause. Marcy, solidified by shock. Somehow she has snuck inside enemy lines. She is unseen.
Schoolgirl erupts. Obscenities. Spanglish torrents, Marcy can’t understand, not that she cares to. Shitstache just listens. He nods vigorously. Marcy can see it, he got bored, he lied, he cheated. It slid on down. Or Schoolgirl is just melodramatic. Girls with hopes like hers get disappointed. Shouldn’t be surprised. His mustache looks full now. Is that a split lip or a canker soar? Probably something worse than… He tries to speak. Schoolgirl slaps him. It’s a split lip. Marcy, still separated from her Road Monster. They should get out of her way. They should see her. They should listen to her. If she could speak.
This goes on. The boy, tenderly listening. Crying. Apologizing. He reaches for Schoolgirl’s hand, she pulls away. He begins to weep openly. Blue and red lights flash in his tears. A siren. A police car. Thank god. He’ll move them out of Marcy’s way.
In an instant, the cop has his handcuffs out. He goes for the boy who’s clearly been maced for grabbing at this girl and assaulting the old lady. He forces himself through Schoolgirl, and the truck. The metal tackle on his belt screeching across Road Monster’s doors.
“Oh… I… I… He…
He loves her! No. No. Not that you’ll listen… but he’s kind. Look at him. Really! look. Look at his face. He’s done nothing wrong. Love is a downhill motion. You didn’t ask, I know. Love is a downhill motion. He’s done nothing wrong. It’s just worn him out. But he listens. He’s listening to her. He can go back up again. As high as she wants. He will listen to her.”