I visited Gen in her half asleep Carolina town and as many times as I could flick her ear while she cooked some down home sweet potatoes for me, or woke up to tea already made and house slippers she let me borrow lined up next to the bed, as many times as I half saw her in a fog of semi-consciousness in an early morning getting her shirt on for work as I fell back to sleep, I couldn’t help but to be anxious to get back to New York.
The night I left, she opened a bottle of wine and we talked until we lost track of time and ran to the car, and she stick shifted us however fast she could to the train station.
We pulled up just as the train 10:55 train was pulling out.
“You ever been to Richmond?” she asked.
“My roommate said it was terrible.”
“With any luck, we won’t be there long,” and she sped off down late night roads, brights on saying You can’t miss this one, right?
She went 90 for 180 miles in a 1989 Ford Tempo with no rear view mirror racing north parallel to the tracks.
“It’s got a next stop, right?”
We got there as the same 10:55 train was pulling in, I jumped out, grabbed my bag from the back, started running. She grabbed my hand, pulled me over and kissed my cheek, flicked my ear, and told me to get out of here.
I got on the train and watched her leaning against her car waiting for the train to pull out of the station.
“This girl’s all right,” I said.