The days were long beyond longness as they continued on in the station wagon, the nights blacker each on each than the one before. Like the narrowing of some cold sphincter around the light of the world. The dead woman was tied to the roof. She smelled worse now. But maybe not too bad to draw attention. A billboard up ahead showed the familiar moose face. He paused, coughed, continued coasting in the wagon.
What if we get there and it's all closed down? asked the boy. It won't be closed down, because we'll be there. We will make it open.
The boy was silent. Ash collected on the windshield. He would need to stop soon and wipe it off. It would mean pushing the car again, pushing the car again before the bottom of a hill. If he had a little bit of a hill to start from it would make it easier. He just wanted that. He couldn't show this in front of the boy. He stared at the ash on the windshield and kept coasting.
There was no rearview in the car. It had fallen off but he had found one in a pickup and fastened it with two metal ribbons to an uprise on the dashboard. It gave him a view of the back of the wagon and a little bit of the terrain behind them from time to time.
The city was still visible there. There was nothing in it there that prompted inspection. Whatever had been removed was imperceptible. He felt that all that had been done was that it had been slightly rearranged.
It's dirty. Yes. Why's it so dirty? That's just the way it is. Everything isn't like home. The boy was surveying everything in front of them. The man needed to add more so he said if everything were like home there'd be no reason for leaving it.
At night he dreamed of the woman. She had been calling to him from inside the pool. It was covered in coke cans and culp and dead geese. Her hair was blonde. But having been in the pool it was a green shock around her head. With the stramineousness was something in her eyes too dark to see. Dye or something?
He woke in the car. His joints cracked and he sighed as he reached for the handle. It woke the boy. They cooked breakfast. He bumbled the opening of the can, hurting his fingers, saying ouch ouch. After eating he stood wordlessly and walked to the back of the car and the boy followed. They began pushing. It was as instinctive as peristalsis. The car gave no ground at first. Then it seemed to inch. Then it inched. As soon as it went a few feet the boy disappeared.
The man's rush to the driver's side produced a moment of panic. The door in space, further and further away, his legs slower beneath him. The gravel always extremely specific through the loafers. He could feel the different sizes of the pebbles and it spoke to him like a mystery. Like rest. Could feel his legs moving not forwards but sideways. But before this thought could be completed he was already in the car. The door shut and it was not even conscious.
If he could get the boy there it would be all right. It would be okay. They'd be okay.