Today we arrived at chant Enchanted Rock Ranch, and we laid on the tailgate of the truck looking up at the sky and smoking a cigarette. Little unidentifiable black birds gliding on the wind and tipping their wings against the forces of gravity to dive like fighter jets in a game of dog. They barrel roll and flip down on us. The wind is warm this time of year in New Mexico. Not like a hot breath. The air is so dry and dusty that my tongue adheres to the roof of my mouth with that layer of slime that once resembled saliva. We are both here because it is the first time in 3 months we don't have to defend our intelligence in the political arena of Academia. But when it's just the two of us, we don't know how to talk to each other. Picking up air under our wings and rolling our bodies in a whirl. This is my last week smoking. I did not buy another pack. I walk around to the driver's side of the truck and dig my finger into the door release button swinging open the rusted iron door. This truck is you: Something on the surface that's old and beat up, but the transmission shifts with ease. The vinyl decals on the side that make up a swanky designs are peeling back into sun brittled curls, but this truck makes a circus of boulders and fallen trees with impressive power. I slide open in the ashtray in the center of the dash and mash my cigarette butt into smolder next to yours.They used to build trucks with an expectation that you would smoke in it. Now, cigarette lighters in cars are just electrical outlets, and smoking in a vehicle is outrageously taboo. This is the only way we know how to be with each other.
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