Did you sleep he asks. His words quiet and slow, caught in a tangle of sleep. In the dark of morning the house sits on the edge of waking up. A dog groans, a cat switches sides on the sofa, and the coffee maker gurgles and seeps.
"Here is the thing," I say with a long pause so he knows I am trying to answer him, "no one should die in a convenience store. There are lots of bad places that are fine to die in but not there. It should never happen."
We hadn't talked about it.The news of a fatal shooting at a convenience store within a block of our house had been delivered by one of the clerks from the other store, the closer more convenient one right around the corner. He had come in to our house early Sunday morning bringing the mood of the rain with him. "I thought you guys should know what happened last night..."
As he talked I remember thinking about life here on 10th. About a place where store clerks know where you live and you them. The clerk carrying the news had borrowed tools and BC's trailer- he had also dropped off beer and an emergency coke or two.
Most of the clerks are locals. And in fact the clerk who was shot and killed -for our convenience- was also one of us. He lived right on 10th about 5 long doors down. About where the wild roosters like to cross.
Tenth is not a small street. It is a very big place to live... and die.
After the clerk left we didn't mention it again. We set it aside with the other items to handle later.
We hadn't talked about on the 2 hr misty drive into the back country of Idaho- searching for hot water.
We were going up for me. One of BC's last ditch efforts to offer me a piece of what I'm missing. Time far away in the middle of nowhere. Time to get cold and dirty and then too hot and not give a shit about any of it.
A place without the need for conveniences. A place where ghost can whisper without being heard.
He was seeking shelter for me from the storm I'm not seeming to be able to out run on my own.
But I had thought about it anyway. Wondering about what happens when you die in the wrong place for no reason at all. Thoughts falling like the snow kissing the windshield, never getting anywhere, never piling up... and drifting away.
He tries again to judge where I am.
"Misty, you never answered my question; did you get any sleep last night?"
"Tons." I say, because that is the most convenient answer.