Three friends navigate life, love, & the boundaries of society.

The old 72 matte black Cadillac roared along a sparse stretch of North Dakota highway. DeVille. Gabrielle once called it "Devil", laughing, but she hadn't said anything in a while and it had been a long time since she laughed like that. She stared out the passenger window at the rose coloured sky as the sun dropped behind them, long straight ribbon of road disappearing in the rear view mirror. Her blue eyes distant, fixed on nothing, brow tensed ever so slightly on a pale, freckled face. Thinking. Kade was trying not to think, gripping the wheel loosely with a few fingers on his left hand while his arm rested on the door, window down, elbow out slightly. Feeling the wind across the side of his body and whipping his long black hair like a frenzied bird. His right hand lax on the leather bench seat between them and then crawling towards a pack of cigarettes with a cheap plastic lighter crammed in the pocket of the cellophane that had slid into a fold of her short black dress. Dusty brown interior, worn and sunbaked and cracking. Then he was lighting a slender stick with the old green Bic she'd doodled over with Sharpie; headstones and ghosts, steering with a skinny knee in faded black jeans before taking the lower part of the wheel with his right hand and dangling the cigarette out the window, exhaling tendrils of smoke from his nose. The sick burn of satisfaction. Why find comfort in things that are bad? She asked herself the same thing, sighing quietly into the glass but not thinking about cigarettes. They used to only smoke occasionally and outside the car, taking breaks on long drives to lounge against the warm metal and drink in the scenery and pull drags from black cloves, hand rolled tobacco, twisted coloured joints... There was no one left for him to impress and too much to contend with to bother with the old rituals. His standards were low. He just wanted to make it through each day. Aspirations were fever dreams in moments when he was drunk on life and love and didn't notice the ache of his recovering body. Grinding joints and atrophied muscles from too much junk and not enough of anything else. They made him feel that way, ecstatic and alive, like the old days. But the same darkness always settled and now the demons hiding in it were different.

Available through Etsy.

Contents of this site are © J. Bardon unless otherwise noted.