Marsha hadn’t stopped smoking cigarettes since we left LA. She was kind enough to keep the window down so her Marlboro Light fumes went out the window, but I couldn’t help but feel like her filthy smoke fumes were drenched in my hair. I had the urge to tell Marsha to tone it down, but guilt stopped me. She had just been presented with divorce papers and a 23-year-old mistress on the same day. She was entitled to smoke as many heaters as she wanted without protest.
Marsha convinced me that an impromptu road trip to Vegas was the only thing that would clear her blues and I didn’t argue. As her loyal friend and co-worker of nearly 20 years, the woman was closer to me than both of my sisters. We would drive out into the hot desert in her 2004 Chevy Malibu without air conditioning on a Tuesday night in July with no real plan and she was already half-way drunk. Viva Las Vegas.
We wouldn’t make it to the California/Nevada border. Our detour started just outside of Barstow when we stopped for gas, snacks, a bathroom break, and some of those little bottles of Livingston White Zinfandel.
I brought the supplies back to the Malibu while Marsha finished throwing up in the bathroom – holding up a long line of road trippers looking to empty their bladders.