Drive To My Choice

Danny did not want to get into his car. He was not sure why he had agreed to. Maybe he felt bad, or just wanted to feel that way. Maybe he had too many Coronas. Probably both. The reassuring feeling of doing the right thing was quickly replaced with a strong urge to do the opposite. Last night he went as far as eating a questionable turkey sandwich in hopes that he would wake up with a horrible stomach ache. The cheese had fluff on it’s edges. It smelled like mildew and tasted like hell. He woke up the next morning feeling queasy, but fine nonetheless.  243 Colorado Blvd. Only 2 miles away from his house but he circled the address for 20 minutes.

“Do you want to go around again?” he said. Renee had been silent the entire time.

One more go around the block and then she’ll go in, Danny thought. Musty air came from the air filter and sweat spilled behind Danny’s ear. The quiet was more suffocating than this summer day. He turned on the radio hoping some 70s hits would lighten the mood.

“I don’t want to listen to music.” Renee clicked the radio off. The air conditioner clunked. A cough.

“Are you okay?”

“Is that a fucking joke?”

Okay, no more talking, Danny thought. He was way too hot but did not open a window.

A Hawaiian girl danced on the dashboard. Her grass skirt swayed with the car. A smile was plastered to her face. Three months ago parked in an alley behind Sizzlers Renee’s smooth hips had swung the same way.

Danny rounded the corner and the sign for My Choice Medical Center came into view again. Not fully stopping he pulled up beside it. Through glass doors he saw women sitting in the reception, most of them alone. One couple in the room sat apart with their noses in different magazines. A woman with red hair was called up next and everyone watched as she walked to the back and the door closed behind her. The yellow toothed receptionist smiled too big for the occasion.

Rebecca did not look in. Danny wondered whether she knew this was her cue to get out of the car. Another cough. Another go around the block.

She had called him last Friday. The noise from the bar made it so he could only hear a few phrases; “long time”, “do something” and “pregnant”. The weight of it blew through him and slowed everything to static. He debated with pretending not to hear her. Maybe she meant another Danny she had met at Sizzler. Maybe there was another Danny walking around with a hula girl on his dashboard. He hung up.

They rounded the block again. Danny passed a liquor store for the tenth time. He wondered why a liquor store would be so close to an abortion clinic, but decided not to ask Renee. Maybe he could get her something while she was inside.

“Pull over.”

The words were hoarse. Renee grabbed her purse, closed the door, and went inside the building.

The car ride back was silent. Renee was whiter than usual and threw up twice before they stopped at her house. She carried a six pack of Corona on her lap, one was missing. Danny breathed a heavy sigh and took another swig from the bottle.

“Let’s not make too big of a deal out of this.”

Renee got out.

The car kicked back to life and smoke rose from the tires. She watched the car pull away. The radio clicked on and 70s hits boomed through the neighborhood. She sipped beer before hurling it long. A trail of shattered glass went from her house to the Sizzlers down the street.

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