Two Fictions
Jamie Iredell

When I Moved from Nevada

Moses and Fredo stacked boxes of books in the U-haul, cussing at the sage-filled lot adjacent the building. The cat lurched around the emptying apartment as hiding places -- i.e. under the bed -- dismantled and walked out the door. I shattered the kitchen chairs by tossing them from the balcony. Mike, Bob, Chris Bennett -- everyone -- drooped their asses over barstools. When I said goodbye they turned partway and shrugged. I could have wept like a wife in this divorce. Sunset pinked its way over Crystal Peak and Peavine. Pulling the Jeep the U-haul dragged like a poem: this way and that up the Sierra. Donner Lake and Pass were snowless and tame. From the back seat the cat wailed.


Once, down above the junk, this feeling like I was part of something. Bob had wrapped his T-shirt round his head in a turban and twirled to the punk rock, the bulges of his stomach and droplets of sweat spinning off. My cigarette mingled with a million others. It was a protest for cigarettes: here we are, now deal with us. Sharon's anger: eyes like a cat's. This million people danced with their cigarettes without angry girlfriends. Everyone got out of Bob's way, so he could spin uninhibited. Another time I felt almost the same way. That bar -- the Summit Saloon, way out in the dark on Fourth Street -- closed. Afterwards they put up condos.