Monday, July 7, 2008

Leaving Marks

You wouldn't believe what a good laugh we had the night all three of us - Starr Ann, Destiny Jane, and me - showed up at Destiny Jane's truck carrying water to pour under that tire, just to make sure Destiny Jane couldn't leave the next day.

Once we stopped laughing enough to talk, Starr Ann said, "Well, if this isn't about as rigged up as as a no-bid contract to service Iraq's oilfields."

Wiping laugh tears from my eyes, I said, "Starr Ann, you I suspected. But Destiny Jane, you flatter me no end, woman!"

Destiny Jane got this smile on her face that I'm starting to recognize means she's gonna try to say something funny to diffuse the fact she's a little bit embarrassed. "Just trying to keep the tire hydrated, Margo. Why, look at these other three." She walked all the way to the other side of her truck. "Poor things are drier'n the dust on a desert rat's sombrero." She kicked the front tire. "At high noon." She almost cracked up as she pretended to examine the rear tire. "In Tijuana."

Starr Ann swiped her finger along the third tire's tread and said, real sober, "During drought."

So we decided we might as well cut out the whole tire-watering step and figure out how long Destiny Jane could stay, given it was obvious none of us wanted her visit to end. Turns out, she had to be all the way over in Virginia in just one more day. Seems she was all set to start the dream job of her life - directing a non-profit horse rescue organization. Not exactly the kind of job I could feel anything but proud of her about.

Anyway, yesterday morning the three of us went down to the road, which drained off real nice once we stopped watering it, and fixed Destiny Jane's tire. It took about no time to do it. Just jack up the truck, change the tire, and Destiny Jane was good to go.

She tested things out by pulling the truck forward a few feet, well away from the sizable rut that was left after having a pickup stuck in it for several days, not to mention all the water we sloshed in it. She hopped out again, once the truck was in the clear, and we started our goodbyes. Lucky for us all, we're too smart to get overly emotional just because somebody we think we might love a lot has to leave for a perfectly good reason and it would be crazy to change around a bunch of lifelong dream plans over somebody you've known less than four days.

Last thing I said to Destiny Jane after she climbed back up behind the wheel and started her engine again, and we were both looking in her sideview mirror at the place where that tire had been stuck, last thing I said to Destiny Jane was, "Every time I see that hole, I'm going to think of you."

She said, "Perfection, Margo." Then she put her truck in gear and rattled off toward Virginia.

When Destiny Jane was out of sight, I said, "That had to be the stupidest exit line anybody ever came up with."

Starr Ann took my hand and started us for home. "It wasn't an exit line. An exit line is when she isn't coming back. Don't worry, Destiny Jane'll definitely be back."