“When You Took Off On I-70 West” – Dawn Dupler

When You Took Off On I-70 West

By Dawn Dupler as first appeared in Blue Earth Review

When you took off on I-70 West my world turned upside down. So I turned the map upside down and shook it fiercely like a New York City snow globe, in hopes of making you fall back to me.

I tipped the map, swirled the map, waved it like a banner—anything I could think of to get you to come tumbling out—but I ended up changing the land mass of North America into the shape of a starfish and messed up a whole lot of lives.

Remember that park ranger at Mount Rushmore who said we made such a cute couple? You can imagine my shock when he and the rest of South Dakota all landed within one square mile of Los Angeles. Thank God they only suffered minor bumps on their heads. Soon I’ll have to tell them how sorry I am for that.

Oh Jesus. What I did to Sara. You know, the waitress at that Little Rock bus stop who always said hello when we lived down there? The one with spiky red hair and hemp sandals, always running late for her shift at Fiddler’s Diner? She and the other friendly folks of Arkansas fell into Vancouver with neither coats nor gloves and I need to make sure they get warm clothing and hot cocoa pronto. I think I really freaked those poor people out, especially Sara who obviously missed work and you yourself heard her say how badly she needed money for rent. God, I’ll have to find some way to apologize to those people.

Hollywood fell into Lake Erie and all the movie stars swam through sludge and dead fish only to be greeted by angry film critics who accused them of phoning in their performances. Remember that stuck-up actor we ran into on our vacation who wore the ridiculous toupee? Bet he’s sorry he wouldn’t take a picture with us. He came out of the water a moss-covered, bald mess. And I have no intention whatsoever to apologize to him.

But remember that mayor of Salina, Kansas? You know, the one who despised every immigrant laboring in heat meant for scorpions—except, of course, his hot, spicy secretary whom he air-conditioned and lunched with regularly in her apartment? Turns out he “air-conditioned” another hot tamale during the nights. Rita. Yeah, that Rita. The one you took up with. She and the mayor landed in a coffee plantation in central Mexico.

But where you landed I still don’t know.

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