January 21 | 251 words

Sun sets on Tucson and I’m going home, home, home. Sky streaked the color of patience, pale silver-gold and blue. Pedestrian lights blinking red-red-red like the day’s mistakes, thoughts bouncing over them like potholes, wheels grinding in the gravel to get out.

Left turn, gauge distance squinting west, misjudge, misjudge, misjudge. Finally. Why drivers brake approaching green in this town, I’ll never figure out. Congested area signs where I used to live, so grateful for our casita now, just ours, centralized.

Stop on the way home – they don’t have what I need but I’ll buy two things anyway. I leave my wallet. There’s a sheepish phone call in my future.

On the radio it’s a song, a prayer, a commercial. Switch fast when the talking starts, no interest in alienation this non-rest day of the week. Dial it up and sing along, one beat after, keep the moment hanging aural and heavy.

This town slinks by me like a rattlesnake: scaly, dusty, proud. Campbell is backed up again. I consider buying a bike. I am not going to buy a bike.

At home there’s a still-new sofa, a candle, a sink full of dishes, an incorrigible gecko. At home there’s a bed, a lock, a toolbox on the floor. Unopened mail. Mint cookies. No wallet.

Walk to the mailbox, find credit card offers, Trader Joe’s updates, someone else’s mail. Across the street two dogs are roaring and I am learning to ignore them. This town coils around me like a rattlesnake.