An hour into our cross-country car ride, I realize I hate Harry. I look at his sockless feet in the brown leather loafers. A smug look that stretches all the way up to his face.

###

Near Philly, I tell Harry I need to pee. You always need to pee, he says. And that’s true. Peeing is like smoking for me. A way to get myself out of the world for two minutes. I have been holding it in since New York.  Harry exhales, his breath smugging up the air. He turns off at the next exit. Too late, I tell him. My favorite undies soaked against the seat.

###

Okay, this is out of sequence, but important.  It’s five days later. Outside Arizona. I have, by now, murdered Harry. Stuffed him in the trunk under his duffel. We were going to hike the Grand Canyon. The duffel is bulging with hiking gear. Right now, it’s holding Harry down like a paper weight.

Continued…

###

Back to now. Harry is arguing with the GPS. “You’d drive us into a lake, you nitwit.” Good one, Harry, I say. Usually, I admire his pluck with electronics. How he yells at his fitness tracker for not counting enough steps. How he yells at the blender, stop, it’s already a smoothie.  But today, everything’s bothering me about Harry.

###

Days later, we stop for lunch in Kansas or Missouri or Kansas. The waitress is young and Harry is looking at her up and down. “Eyes on the menu” I finally say. “Don’t you have to pee?” He asks. And I do. Like crazy. Only there’s no way I’m leaving the table. I pee right there on the vinyl seat. Harry looks shocked. The waitress looks shocked. I’ll have the eggs, I simply say.

###

In Colorado, we find one of those stops where truckers take showers. I tell the guy at the counter I’m having woman troubles. He nods and says his mother has that and warns that we don’t get many women, so it might be a little rough in there. I tell him I’ve seen rough. I look at Harry. I’ll be fine, I say.

Continued…   

###

Back in the car, I notice lipstick on Harry’s collar. I wish he wasn’t such a cliché. It must have happened while I was in the shower. While I was trying not to notice the girlie pictures slapped all over the walls. Harry must have found something in the hooker aisle and taken it out back. Whatever it was wore blood-red lipstick.  I tell Harry we need to find a hardware store.

###

We find one somewhere in Utah. I tell Harry if we’re hiking, we’ll need to build a fire. Good thinking, he says.  I walk over to the ax aisle and pick out a small one. I run the blade along his fingers. I run the blade along his neck. “Let’s get you some hiking socks,” I say. We go up to the counter. He motions to the restroom “Go now,” he says. “You know how you can get.”

Don’t worry, I tell him. I’m good.

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