I am losing my nerve, uncertain that this is the escape I was seeking.
The sun hammers through the windshield onto my arms. I turned off the engine a few minutes ago, but when I went to reach for my bag—to get money for the gas pump—I realized that my cards could be tracked.
I should have cashed out my accounts, but I was in too much of a panic at the time for logic to rule my escape plan.
Now, four hundred miles way, it hits me that I have not escaped at all.
I skipped the air conditioning on this bright day to squeeze more miles out of the first tank, to get father without needing to stop. My shirt is sticking to my skin after riding in the hot box, warm air blowing from the vent that may well have been warmer than the air inside the car.
And now? I’m back to the start. Reset the trip counter.
I’m going to have to drain my accounts at the gas-station’s questionable ATM. Visit more. What are the limits on a single withdrawal these days? How much does a stand-alone kiosk hold?
I left my mobile phone behind—on purpose. Oh God, what if my bank calls to verify my identity for these transactions?
I take my hand away from my purse without retrieving my wallet.
The car’s title is in the glove box.
A used card lot is across the street from the gas station.
Maybe someone there can drive me to a Greyhound terminal after I make good my escape.
Author’s Note: These snippets are unedited free-writing exercises that I use as a way to shift my brain into a creative state. I use Lynda Barry’s What It Is YouTube timed exercises (usually 9 minutes worth of writing) for these. They are handwritten in a composition notebook and then typed up here. As I transcribe them, I make minor grammar and spelling corrections, but the overall “clarity” (if you can call it that) of the exercise is left as-is.