Vacation, Thirty-Three

Fiction by Cady Vishniac

I’m wasted, driving up the Siskiyous, away from the casino, in my ex-husband’s Mustang GT. Wild horses on the mountains, also called mustangs, like I told my kindergarteners back in Eaton. The kids drew mustangs—Crystal even gave me her drawing—and now I’m here, night sky, Rod Stewart blasting, drink that white rum. Booze, like the fried chicken in the back seat, is rough on kidneys, but I drank something anyway, a Mustang, made with Wild Turkey, not rum. Rod’s as full of it about the rum as my ex is about everything else: too much for me to get cancer in the kidneys, too much for me to be angry. Me, the best teacher, someone who lets cars pass when I-70 gets jammed, in California driving drunk to prove my ex wrong. He believed in New Year’s resolutions, power of prayer, law of attraction, that my negative attitude induced this unchecked multiplying of cells. Now he’s no longer attracted. I could wreck this Mustang, my plagued body nibbled by mustangs because of the Mustang I drank. Synchronicity, he’d call it. Here’s what I hope instead: I’ll loop the mountains impaired and never get breathalyzed, never crash, because most people don’t. The odds are the odds. I’ll go home to the kids, and get a cat or have an affair with our janitor. I didn’t have to be wrong to get sick, so I don’t have to be good to live a good life. We get what we deserve; it’s anything.

Cady Vishniac lives in Ann Arbor. Her work has won the contests at New Letters, Mid-American Review, Greensboro Review, and Ninth Letter, and is forthcoming in Glimmer Train.