Honourable mention in the 4th Annual Geist Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest.
The stupid car wore out and me and Gordie have to stay in this gross rooming house close to a highway and a factory where they make poison. Maybe the poison is a by-product of some other thing they make, it’s really bad stuff that turns the air brown and stinks and makes me cough all the time. Even the old ladies here have jailhouse tattoos, you can see them on the bus all the time on their way to the grocery store or to church. I swear, if a dog died in the alley, nobody would even bother to go find out what the stink is.
Gordie keeps talking about moving to Saskatchewan because the land’s really cheap. I told him that even if it’s free we can’t afford it but he says he’ll get work. He says I’m just freaking out because we don’t have any money to get the car fixed. He says it’s okay to be stuck now because the weather will be too bad for travel until April. He hasn’t done any needles and hardly any pills since we’ve been on the road, he keeps talking about a new clean life and you’d be really proud of him, if you ever wanted to speak to him again.
Yesterday the power was off for three hours and then a guy in a room downstairs died. I knew he was going to, I passed him in the kitchen in the morning and he was grey. I could see through his skin to the black core and it smelled really bad, like the rot wasn’t wasting any time waiting around. One of the paramedics gave me a cigarette and his phone number, so it wasn’t all bad. You know me, always flirting.
This year has been so far so good for us. I hope you’re good too. I’m sorry about that fight we had, I didn’t want to steal your boyfriend and I never meant any of those mean things I said and I know you didn’t neither. He’s really pretty nice, especially now that he’s cleaned up. Say hi to Ma for me, and Jill too. I don’t know if we’ll get to see you this spring, but maybe soon. I’ll make sure to write if we ever get to Saskatchewan, ’cause that’s when Gordie says he’ll get a job and everything will be good.