Directions 1080 730 Corey Miller

Seth and I sit on a behemoth mound of dirt in between I-80 eastbound and westbound flicking Skittles down at traffic. It’s a heap of decisions dividing people traveling both directions through our pop-up town built to capitalize on humanity needing food and gasoline from name brands they trust.

We still have our cap and gown on as we sift out the red Skittles to split windshields. We get away with this shit because the chief of police would never arrest his own daughter; his future officer. 

Seth and I have exhausted our small-talk throughout high school so we sit reticent in this valley shaped by dynamite for people to pursue a faster paced life. All we hear is the occasional tink of a Skittle connecting with oncoming traffic followed by hard braking.

The fast-food signs stand tall in the sky like UFOs abducting humans with their tractor beam, enslaving us locals to work like mindless cash register cyborgs. Occasionally, civilians exit the highway and ask for directions while we work our grease-trap jobs, as if we know how to escape this town. I don’t answer. Seth tells them he plans on attending college for mechanical engineering in Philadelphia. 

These roads lead to student loans and cross-examinations. A gamble one must ponder that wagers thousands for a career track you might tolerate. Seth will eventually be able to design automobiles and I’ll probably still be sitting here, focusing the radar gun at the town’s next speeding ticket victim. But I envision myself stealing one of these cars and just driving. Driving until I’m the one who will have to refuel. To be on the other side of the counter. To not need directions because I won’t care where I end up.

Header photograph © Heather Wharram.

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