When Brent returned with their food and held the sack out to Angie, Lance leaned on the counter, kept track of Angie’s face. “See something you like?” he asked as she looked at Brent. He plucked the sack from Brent’s hands and steered Angie out the door. [cuz she had mysteriously lost the ability to put 1 foot in front of the other—what up wit dat shit?]
After Angie dried her hair and they’d packed up the car again, she smoothed sun tan lotion on her thighs. Lance seemed restless. He did not ask, “Where to, today? Pick a place. Any place.” He did not offer to help her with the lotion, no matter how slowly, how deliberately she applied it. [get some friends thought her sister]
He’d purchased a map in the hotel lobby and had folded it to a particular part of the state. He looked at his watch. “Let’s get moving. It’s hotter than hell.”
It was only thirty minutes later when he told her he was getting bored with this vacation, just spending it with her, and he wanted to go to Spirit Lake to find Gary and Midge. Lance said the couple went up to the lake nearly every other weekend, so their chances of catching them there were 50-50, which had to be better than this “discussing our relationship” that Angie kept wanting to do. “This is supposed to be a vacation,” Lance said as he jerked the convertible top up against the coming rain. “This is supposed to be fun, goddamn it.”
Angie let the wind jiggle her head as it darted in her open window. How wildly ironic that it should goddamn rain, she thought. When she’d packed her suitcase last week she had envisioned a mirage of romance in front of her, as thick and sweet as homemade caramels. She was unprepared for rain and moodiness. For emotional vacancy. [more like bankruptcy]
At the gas station she flipped him off behind his back and felt better, until she saw that the woman in the next car had seen her do this. Then she felt embarrassed and slid down in her seat. Lance got back in the car, pulled out her cd, and put in one of his own. His fingers tapped the key in the ignition. “Look,” he said, quietly. “This isn’t about you.” He reached for her arm.
“You see somebody else sitting here?” Angie answered. She stared out the window at the woman sliding fresh lipstick over her normal-sized mouth. Her foot tapped the floor. [n a 1 and a 2…]
“Look. I mean I can’t give you what you want.”
“Yeah?” She looked at him. “What is it I want?”
“You want me.”
“—and you’re married.” [holy crap she thought, she had forgotten to tell her sister the dude was MAAAAAAAAARRIED]
“That has nothing to do with it,” Lance said. “With this. You just can’t have me. It’s nothing personal.”
“—but you can have me.” [nononoooo she hoped she didn’t really say that]
“That’s your choice,” Lance said, like he was presenting her with a deal she’d negotiated. A student loan, maybe, that had seemed, initially, like it was going to be no problem, a real deal. [that reminded her she owed her sis $20]
Angie turned away, her mouth empty. Her feelings for him did not feel like her choice. The rain, for example. The goddamn rain. Not her choice. She could hear it on the roof. Rivulets formed on the windshield as he wound the car through thin curves. It was 200 miles to Spirit Lake. Time flew, Angie discovered, even when you were not having fun. [xcept in trig—time never flew in trig]
Angie closed the vinyl menu and traced her finger around the coffee cup on the cover. “I guess I’ll go ahead and have the cheeseburger, too,” she said. “If it comes with grits I’ll know I died and went straight to Hell.” She considered asking the waitress if they had whole-wheat buns, but she knew Gary or Midge might spout water through their noses if she asked for something extraordinary. She saw they hadn’t even opened their menus. They would probably order cheeseburgers in a vegetarian restaurant.