Chapter 5

Insignificant things affect life in a way you can not control. 

 

Those things bother me. Like riding a Uber. I always fasten my safety belt. Knowing a person I’ve never met till now is holding my life at the steering wheel, I get nervous. What if he hasn’t had coffee yet? the music on radio can be trash, he can be trying to text this girl he really likes, there can a stupid mosquito, anything actually. The least significant thing can come across, he will lose control and hit another car.

 

I can easily die with a stranger on this normal day. Unplanned.

I have difficulty relaxing. But there are so many things I can’t control. The internship I applied at MoMa, the plants I watered regularly who still decided to die, Harvard, period, or feelings toward Patricia. 

 

When she opened the door for me after we walked out of the cafe, it was already late. She put the key in to start the engine, a piece of hair fell from the back on her ear. It looked golden in the dim light. The night was quiet, only the sound of snow from last night melting, till they fell from the vent glass. It was warm inside, heat filling up the space between us, fuzzily.

 

Do you mind?

 

She pulled out a cigarette and opened the window.

 

No, I said. Looking away, outside the window where College Hill merges with Downtown.

She lit the cigarette, put it between her lips, inhaled, exhaled. Smoke came out. I coughed. 

 

Sorry, she said.

 

It’s ok. I said.

Inside her car, my usual fear was replaced by something else. But it was the same loss of power. I turned to her.  Her jawline seemed softened in the smoke. Like a sculpture, gaze softened too, blending into the unfathomable darkness ahead.

 

The engine started.

She could easily kill us both in this car and I wouldn't mind.