Ezy Reading: In Vermont

Evan Kanarakis

A wrong turn

It was another new town
And another stop on the road
I was tired with many miles behind me
More still to come
But now I needed rest

I found another nameless diner
Had the soup of the day
And found another nameless bar
It was a dark, decrepit dive
So I went inside



Faded carpets and an acrid, sour smell
Old drunks nodding in and out of consciousness
Even as the jukebox wailed with Woody Guthrie
And other drunks jostled past in cramped quarters on their way to the bar
My kind of place indeed

Three pints in, the Irish girl got to talking
I spoke of road weariness
But she knew more of it than me
Six months to my few days
And –almost as if in proof- she drank stronger stuff than I


Though slight in frame she had mastered that whisky
And, lean and pretty, it had not yet repaid her neglect
Dark, hazel eyes and brown hair belied her ancestry well
Yet each word from her mouth was pure Dublin
She commanded attention

So we talked some more
But she was sad, wistful
Soon her mood darkened
She cried as she told me of a lost brother
And I pictured him alone and deranged, staggering aimlessly in an Amsterdam park


Three more pints and I made her laugh
We forgot our worries and smiled
I said I was lost in this country but finding her gave worth to an empty town
She kissed me
I was reborn

We lay down together in my hotel room
A skilled hand had ornately inked the words to a Celtic hymn across the entirety of her back
She sang it for me
It was beautiful
The chorus stayed with us as we made love


In the morning she asked for the story about my scars
I kissed her
And, understanding, she didn’t ask again
We lingered for an hour until the road began to call us
Parted ways, our souls linked forever

And I looked ahead for another wrong turn

Ezy Reading is out every week.