Now you see the kids little girl #1 and little girl #2 in fact you heard them from the back when the cop asked his first question because little girl #1 asked a question: Are we gonna get a ticket?  But they’re quiet now the inside of the Cadillac is silent what a movie set can’t capture despite all the lighting the make-up and sound they don’t even look back Mary Jane and Carter they don’t have to because it isn’t that moment when you’re surrounded by strangers there was no isolation little girl #1 and little girl #2 had never felt that but the adults in front had and they didn’t have to look at each other either in fact Carter is looking out the window at a man in a baseball cap filming them on his phone good thing the rain has stopped almost like the horizon has surpassed him the man holding the phone it took no time at all for the fading light to surpass him and you see it’s what Carter wonders staring at the man feeling nothing knowing that man will have tears because if you have to watch you’re not in you’re not inside the car you’re still a stranger and if you’ve ever been familiar with someone intimate and then to feel this strangeness why it’s the most alone thing in the world but there’s no one alone in the car only the man outside holding the phone is and the silence he meets is always the answer innocence gets to its question which is why it goes by its other senses.

And then the Master of Ceremonies catches it for a moment.  Even with weak megapixels the focus the light the last of the natural light is caught reflecting out of Carter’s eyes as he stares out the window into the side mirror back at the cops talking amongst another.  It is a muted stare.


He said they were up in Freeburg visiting her family and O’Fallon visiting his. They’re from Marion.  He said he works at the VA.  He said he was a disabled vet…