Sometimes he would have dinner with the cute waitress in the city, but her affections never seemed to be enough. Over time, each woman had learned that he was troubled, a prisoner who was traumatized from an accident.
He used the white stuff now, junk, the coke. He used the drugs to numb it, to stop it. He “used” to bury it, the guilt, the shock, all of it. Once, the waitress came across the proof in his duffle bag as he showered in a motel room after work. The powder substance was in a zip lock bag on top of a snapshot of a pretty girl. She was standing by a rock near the river. Her blonde hair was in a ponytail, and she was lifting her arms to the sky as if to show, this whole, big, bad, beautiful world was at her fingertips.
On the back of the photo in dark ink, it read, “My Lilly, before the light went OUT.”
The waitress never asked about the incident. Something inside told her not to. But there was one night, a night when Max was lit and had mentioned a freak accident, how his girl had jumped in the river, but she never came back. Then he grew silent and pushed back from the table and walked off into the black night as if he could find the answers there. Then, she wouldn't see him again for weeks and weeks and weeks.
And yet, the waitress, she still longed to be with him, this desperate soul. She had fallen for the lost guy, the drifter, the one, it seemed, whose only quest was a better high.