Ambassador Crossing

She says, just take her across the bridge. I ask her why and she gets all defensive. Doesn’t care much for my question, I guess. She knows why she wants across the goddamn river and that’s all that matters. Just across the bridge, man. I tell her hop in. She opens the passenger door, a fresh Subway bag rolled up in her hand.

I make a joke about her robbing the place. What do I mean? The Subway. Like, does she need to get away quickly because people are after her or something? She looks at me like I’m the stupidest guy on earth and tells me to mind my own business. Jesus Christ. She says people need to get off her back. I’m confused, and I surprise myself when I tell her so.

I mean, I don’t even know her and she runs up to my car and knocks on the window like some kind of crazy woman, asks me all frantic for a ride and gets weird when I ask where and why and all the normal stuff anyone else would ask her too. I don’t get it, lady, what’s up with you?

Me? ME? What the fuck’s up with you, dude? She closes her eyes and leans back in the seat. Lets out a giant exhale. OK, OK, whatever man, let’s just get across the bridge, please.

Warm parmesan bread fills the car. I circle through the empty lot, pull into bridge traffic without signaling. When someone honks she whispers, don’t get us killed, alright? I give her a look and she closes her eyes and points a skinny finger out the windshield. Short nails, red polish chipped looking like a die. Snake eye. She licks her chapped lips, settles in.

I ask if she has a passport. I ask again. Do you have one? Because you’ll need one on the other side. She ignores me. He arm moves across the bag in her lap and reminds me I’m hungry. Haven’t had lunch yet, barely had any breakfast.

We reach the bridge and I look at her. Sleeping? The sun illuminates tiny hairs on her chin, reminds me of my mother. I think of a small boat below, inching along the Detroit River. Pale blue, peeling with age. Maybe the captain’s an old man? Maybe his hands grip the wheel? Maybe a space heater keeps his feet warm? Orange hot coils. Maybe he’s chewing his lip and thinking? Maybe of something that already happened, maybe of what’s to come.

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