I was back in the car again, drunk for the last twenty-plus hours. Despite having pulled over twice to be violently ill, some spraying out of my nose, I could still smell the soft remains of Vanessa's perfume. The car was almost empty now, with just my wasting frame and the few things I saw fit to gather into the back seat before abandoning the motel and Vanessa's body with it, and now I was completely lost. Not just on the road, you see. I spent most of my drunk driving days wandering across lanes of traffic in directions that I didn't fully understand at the time, with my destination a mere afterthought compared to the urgency of escaping. There was little hope now. Now I was just a murderer with no one to stick up for my actions. Vanessa could have pleaded my case for me, something that I would be unable to do for myself with any kind of chance of succeeding.
The police would look at the case and see a former lover from a seemingly abusive relationship returning to plead with his lost love only to be confronted by her protective father, a man of means and social status no less, who, after an unseen struggle, fires his heavy revolver through the patriarch's face and kidnaps the grieving and terrified young woman. They would never know the years of sexual molestation she endured at the hands of that man, or that the abuse in the relationship always originated from her side of the equation. Soon I would be caught and exposed as a sexually deranged murderer and thrown into prison with the rest of the dregs of society.
These thoughts traveled through my head as barreled down the highway at some unknown and unmonitored speed. I suppose I was secretly hoping to make my way into oncoming traffic and die as I had lived, drunken and desperate. But it was not to be. By sheer fucking luck I was aimed directly southeast toward the mexico border. A destination that was the only option for a man running from justice, a place that featured towns where being a murderer helped you blend into the crowd, and asking questions about someone's past would earn you either contempt or a thorough stabbing. But long before I realized my good luck I pulled off the road and took a four hour nap, still gripping the steering wheel.
When I woke up there were birds circling overhead. They were most certainly magpies or something, but they should have been vultures. I had been in steady decline for the last decade or so, and no one would fault the birds for their mistaken judgement concerning my likelihood of immediate survival. It was amazing that I hadn't been hassled by the highway patrol in the night, as I was stone drunk with my driver's side door open wide to facilitate the emergency evacuation of my ulcer-plagued guts. I had always held my liquor without a problem since I became a regular drinker at the age of about seventeen, but in the last three years or so the retching began. Now I vomited almost out of routine rather than because it caused me any relief, but I seldom complained about it due to some sense of guilt that had me convinced I deserved it. Besides, any signs of the advancing reaper was welcome at this point.