Synaesthesia Magazine Americana - Page 28

The Darl Inn

My mom was having sex with her new boyfriend and I was so used to it, it didn't even gross me out anymore. She said she'd let us share a beer if Bri and I promised not to come back to the room for at least two hours. We went and sat in the chairs outside by the pool, passed the bottle back and forth, made the mouth of it taste like our pineapple lipgloss. Once we'd finished drinking, I set the bottle down and it rolled on its side; the hollow-emptiness rattled as it slipped into the wet grass.

No one was at the pool even though it was Friday night. I figured there would at least be some dumb guys to flirt with. Maybe even some smart ones. The guys we went to high school with were pretty smart, but they acted dumb. Maybe that's how everyone was. I hypnotized myself thinking about it—watched the blue-green water lick up the pool steps, shiver in the motel light.

Bri's mom and my mom had been best friends since high school and Bri's mom traveled a lot for work. Bri's dad was rarely around, so she stayed with my mom and me most weekends. We only lived like an hour away, but this weekend my mom said she wanted to get out of town, see something different. Don't take being alive for granted, girls, she said.

We drove to this little town in the country called Darling and got a cheap room at the Darling Inn. I thought it'd be better if they called it the Darl Inn and it was kinda driving me crazy. I wanted to say something to the receptionist lady about it, but she was grumpy and wearing all brown so I passed.

“Whitney, listen to this,” Bri said, reading aloud from an old Cosmo magazine we'd found back in the room. I watched the orange sunset glowing in her rhinestone-rimmed sunglasses. My sunglasses, really. I'd gotten them last summer from a grocery store in Vegas when I was out there visiting my dad. “Top Ten Things Guys Hate,” she said, lifting the sunglasses so I could see her roll her eyes.

Leesa Cross-Smith