Romeo started a pot of coffee and stepped out of the back door to survey the vegetable garden in the soft morning light. If he didn't look beyond the edge of the neatly arrayed plot, he might be able to take comfort from its lush bounty, the glowing beauty of ripening tomatoes, the safety of picket fence incarceration. The road was too near not to draw his eyes, and then his feet, and he found himself standing in front of the Bella Vista Motel gazing out at a land that seemed to have no order and no end. The road mocked him, as ever with its false promise of escape. He could smell the coffee on the clean morning air and he knew what every monotonous minute of the coming day would hold. As he went back to the kitchen to pour a cup of coffee for himself and Madge, he wondered if things would ever start happening again, and he tried not to hope that she was coming back.
The charred, waxy smell of burning pumpkin was everywhere. It seemed to crawl down Chuckie’s throat only so far and then stop. He tried to swallow, but simply couldn’t. He wondered if he had made it back to his room, or if he was still in the lounge where last night’s party had ended in a brawl.