“Could you stop that?” I snapped, nervously smoothing the front of my coat with damp palms.

“Stop what?” Martin whined, honking a wad of mucus into a wrinkled napkin for the thirtieth time since we sat down. I glanced furtively around us, wondering how many of the other passengers would be wrinkling their noses, looking at us like festering Petrie dishes.

Instead of answering him, I exhaled quietly and turned again toward the window. Queens was whizzing passed, a brick and concrete reminder of the city drawing ever closer.

“What time is the interview?” Martin sniffed, his voice slightly obscured by his congestion.

“Nine.” It was maybe the fourth time I’d told him.

“Don’t stress, you won’t be late.”

Martin is obsessed with stress. He thinks everyone’s biggest problem is that they stress too much. I’ve heard him blame everything from chicken pox to baldness to poverty on stress.

“I’m not worried about being late,” I snap. Part of me hopes he’ll see through my thin anger and ask, “Well, babe, what are you worried about?” Another part of me hopes he’ll just shut up and let me ride the last fifteen minutes to the station in peace.

He stays quiet, but I suspect it has more to do with his sudden interest in a game on his phone than any insight into what I wanted from him.

I lean my forehead on the cool widow for a moment, glimpses of tiny, weed-ridden yards and miles of fence and wire winking back at me.

One day, I think, you’ll never have to look at this again.

Next to me, I hear Martin search absent-mindlessly for another napkin from his backpack.

One day.


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