Postcard prose - Issue 11 | January 2011

Long Distance

by Arlan Hess

The hillside is salted green, nothing too deep or too muted, and we wreathe the ocean at a consistent pace, not changing speed, not faster or slower but lighter than I’ve ever traveled before, alone on a highway in a rented Japanese car. I want to go home, to any home, I ache for a voice at the end of the line: Where are you now? Where are you going? — a distant accent and family out of sync — There is a time delay can you hear it, wait, what? There is a time delay can you hear it, wait, what? In the distance, a man watches me watch him and his dog. A Border Collie, maybe, I can’t tell for sure. The slow landscape folds around us, here and there symmetrical around a farmer and a car. This is his land, I think, his road. I’m trespassing. He stares until I fade around the curve of the bay, eight hundred yards closer to home, as far away as I was when he first spotted me, a chance thread holding us together, until finally he waves and I press my hand to the glass.


About the author

Arlan Hess once took a freighter from Montreal to London—an experience she recommends to all travelers. More recently, she has taken a book binding class in Siena, seen U2 in Dublin, and gone whale watching in Bermuda. You can find her work in Connotation Press, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, and Thirty-First Bird Review.

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