Wherever You're Going
Susan Gibb

The morning is so rich in sunshine, so blue with white paintball clouds it could make you cry. You drive the speed limit on these back roads. The spring thaws have made pie crust of pavement, throwing up stones that might've taken centuries to work their way up to the surface from the hellfire of earth's core. The drive into the city is a gracious transition from mourning doves and pancakes into the whipped creamed coffees and seventeen-storied steel buildings of the corporate world. It's only a half-hour ride.
You would have made it without seeing her if you'd left just a few minutes earlier. The raw angular stride of bone working in the perfect rhythm and balance of a show dog. Blue jeans and pink sweatshirt, running shoes -- though not Nike's or New Balance, surely -- and a dark brown ponytail swinging with each measured step. As you draw up behind her she stops, turns, sticks out her thumb.
"Where are you headed?" you ask her, but she's already settled into the seat. It's not going to matter immediately, so you pull off the shoulder back onto the road.
Any other day, maybe without last night's fight with your wife still shrilling around in your brain. Or if you'd felt more confident about the ten a.m. presentation to the board, as if your head wasn't being served up like John The Baptist's. Or maybe if the sky weren't so brilliantly blue, well, maybe you wouldn't have gotten onto the highway and driven two hundred miles before stopping.