Keep On Keepin' On, Sir Duke

Vince Darkangelo

It was in his typical dramatic fashion that he let the cigarette dangle before sucking deep the last breath of ash that singed the tip of the filter before burning itself out. It was with this same thespian flair that he disposed of the butt while holding the vapors in his mouth and throat before casually exhaling in perfect time with the music. His gaze followed the trailing smoke around the room before his eyes came to rest on her.

He had been living out west for two years now. She was the one who had stayed behind, yet it was her who had done the leaving. Their hometown had been as interesting as potting soil, but she had taken root anyway. Meanwhile, he traveled coast to coast, border to border, desert to prairie, ocean to mountaintop. And now she was leaving him again.

Perhaps it was because of the drugs, again. Perhaps it was because of the art, again. She was always jealous of that. Maybe his odd sense of humor had run dry and begun to agitate her once again. That never took too long. Or perhaps the sun was just a little too bright this time.

It didn't matter. Could've been the fucking price of tea in China for all our hero cared. She was leaving. That's all. She was leaving. All that was left was the awkward fumbling for the appropriate, weepy, sentimental words when sometimes even just "goodbye" is overkill and the sun is setting over the water on the coast and even the beach volleyball players are calling it a day and, god, he would so much rather be there than right here in this godforsaken moment breathing this stale air and wishing she would just get it over with and leave so that he could watch the porno he had rented earlier in the day.

So, with other things on his mind, he told her to "keep in touch, and write small- you know how I like to read between the lines". She smiled, the heartless wench, promising postcards and Christmas cards and best wishes at birthdays. She even promised a phone call or two, but he knew it would never happen. He didn't have a phone. And eleven digits is a hell of a lot of numbers on a rotary dial two-thousand miles away when all she was thinking about was a flashier cowboy a little closer to home.