And so I left on a motorcycle I’d pawned off some perv at the club who’d told me he’d give it to me if I’d beat on some fella inside, which I did, – and I left New York to try again. But, older now, I only had enough juice and fear to make it a third of the way down Route 90 before I crumpled in a shitty motel off the freeway outside of Chicago, and, that night, and for so many after, I knew I’d gotten what I’d I wanted all along. I found an apartment with a triple bolt lock and a soundproof door and windows that had a view of the highway and started on gin, that first drink I’d ever shared with Maia, and I found other things like Ketamine that made me feel like I lived under water, and I slept long days and worked long nights at a strip joint, STARSTRUCK, and never spoke to anyone.
But on nights like these I think of running away again, yet know I have no reason to, and when the kids zip by on their motorcycles, booming off into a world that will have them, I want to shout Go! Go! Go! Fucking go and never come back! I want to scream not from hate or envy but from pure, adrenaline-fueled lust for things other than this – this feeling of termites in my blood and a brain drenched in Thorazine. But now they are off in the distance and what? There is only bitter silence, a bitter silence that has taken stead of everything, and I sip and pause and sip and pause and sip and sip and sip this gin that makes my heart grow soft, if only for a moment.About the author:
Peter Jang is pursuing a MFA in creative writing at the Art Institute of Chicago. He is a recent graduate of Fordham University where he studied English literature and creative writing. For his short story, “Thanksgiving,” he was awarded the Margaret Lamb/Writing to the Right-Hand Margin Prize.