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There was so much silence Tina could hear the crackling of the flame eat the tobacco in her cigarette as she took a long draw. Not even the night had life out here, this desolate silence was going to be the death of her, she thought. Again she took a long draw and hated the memory that washed into the forefront of her mind. Her father. Great director, beautiful artist, loved worldwide by nearly everyone, except the one person he needed the most. Her father loved Winston cigarettes, so much so that she couldn’t recall a time when he didn’t have one lit in his hand or hanging off the side of his mouth as he read a script. The smoky, sharp, smell lingered in her house and draped into the walls, she could remember not knowing whether or not he was home if she didn’t actually see the smoke and smell his sweet, musky after shave.
She hated how much she needed these cigarettes at this moment. She craved them more than air, food or even warmth at this very moment. Maybe that was saying something about her that she could later analyze in a private session with her counselor. She looked down at her journal and saw that she still hadn’t written anything down. She was instructed that her time in group would be eliminated if she didn’t have something written in her journal besides the childish drawings of Bugs Bunny and friends flipping the bird.
She had nothing to write, that looping thought still made her laugh, a writer with absolutely nothing to write. What else could she write, there was nothing left to say, her words were out there and as of 7a.m. that morning the world was watching her “words” on the big screen. She wasn’t allowed any sort of outside media, phone calls, the internet, even goddamn newspapers were not allowed into the facility. She had no idea what kind of havoc she’d left in her wake or the state of the people she’d left behind to clean it up.
Like her father she’d made a mess of her life and there was always someone else there to bear the brunt of her misplaced rage. Her wife, caring as she was, she was also Tina’s enabler. She allowed Tina to lose control of herself, fall into her addictive tendencies and pretend that life was supposed to be this way. Having given up on her journal Tina threw it on her bed and just looked out the window into the darkness the Nebraska wilderness afforded and wondered whether or not she could pry these bars loose enough to jump through.