Snippet: On the Way to the Ladies’ Room at the Silver Streak Café

Memory, that is, the sprint of electricity from one neuron to another, takes shortcuts. At first memories (especially the painful ones) take as long as the event itself; by the time you’ve let twenty-two years go by, they’re a bare moment, a trip to the mailbox to check for bills.

That’s why, when I saw him, I was pleasantly surprised. I smiled at him; pleasantly surprised, he smiled back. By the time I’d forced myself to remember the whole story, he was gone, leaving behind a whole plate of liver n’onions and a big tip. I saw the ’59 Chevy peel out of the parking lot like…well, like there was murder followin’ right behind. I took my hand out of my purse.

I’d nearly forgotten why I’d been carrying around this damned .32 for all these years.