Under the light of the full moon in the clear Vermont sky, they hardly needed to turn on the headlights. Jane and Steph did so anyway–it was law and they certainly didn’t want to get pulled over on their way to their nightly ritual. It didn’t make much difference though. Red Eagle, the name of Jane’s old maroon Subaru hatchback, had a busted drivers-side light. The interior wasn’t doing too hot either. Scorch marks from cigarettes past left the seats gave more of an impression of a zebra than an eagle. The back was littered with coffee cups too, but those were more recent. Besides all that, the tires were bald, the speedometer didn’t work and the AC was shot– but none of that mattered in the grand scheme. Jane relished the fact that she had a car to begin with. Any time she needed to get out of the house–Bam– just hop in Red Eagle and soar away.
Jane scooped Steph around 9 every night. They told their parents that they were getting food or going to the gym, but they knew– they had been kids too.
Their normal spot was just under a mile away from the neighborhood. Steph preoccupied herself by looking at snapchat stories while Jane enjoyed the whoosh of dry early-spring air flooding the car through her open window.
The two pulled off onto a sidestreet overlooking the National Guard’s airfields. They noted the new posted “No Trespassing” sign as they drove past it. It was probably nothing Jane thought. Her sister had told her that when she was in high school nobody bothered her when she smoked here.
Jane slowed The Red Eagle down to a steady crawl. Gravel crunched and popped under the bald tires. In the distance a few servicemen were taxiing an F-16 back to it’s hanger. Jane flipped the headlight switch and went dark. The two girls rolled ahead in darkness along the line of adjacent pine’s for another 100 yards. At the top of a gradual incline, Jane shifted to “P” and silenced the engine.
Steph pocketed her phone and turned to Jane. “You got a lighter?” she said producing a swirling white-orange glass bowl from her jacket pocket.
“Yeah, I think so.” Jane said. She pat her pockets in sequence. Jacket: no. Hoodie: no. Jeans: no. “Guess not.”
“Dude,” Steph droned. Her head rolled back and snapped forward. “Oh hey,” she said reaching for the cup holder. “El fuego.” she laughed and held up the small bic.
“The Red Eagle delivers again.” Jane said. Steph took the first hit– it was her bowl and weed after all. Jane thought Steph always looked like a squirrel when she smoked. She always puffed out her cheeks and opened her eyes too wide. She handed Jane the bowl after a short coughing fit.
“This new?” Jane asked studying the bowl.
“Yeah, Tommy gave it to me.” Steph said in between coughs. “He’s in that new glass-blowing class at Bern. He also brought home some glass pendants– they’re really pretty.”
“So he made this?” Jane said. Steph nodded. She held the lighter up and took a hit. “Wow that hits nice.”
“I know right.” Steph burst out into a smile. “Dude we have to name it after this.” Steph said. She took the bowl and the lighter back for another rotation.
After laughing, coughing and more coughing the subject of Judy’s sudden departure came up. Judy, a classmate of theirs just up and left the states with her family after her dad had been picked to represent the U.S. abroad.
“I know dude,” Steph said. “Like, where is Slovakia anyway.” Steph punctuated with a fit of giggles.
“No idea dude. Probably near Russia or something.” Jane coughed. The smoke hanging in the front of the car was thick. “I think it’s just crazy that her dad can get called up and will just have to go over there like that,” she snapped her fingers.
The two sat in silence a moment. The F-16 had long since disappeared into it’s hanger. Everything stilled around them. Soon their ears adjusted so they could hear the chorus of crickets and beetles outside.
“Y’know,” Steph said breaking the silence, “the moon is crazy.”
Jane laughed. “Yeah dude the moon is rad.”
“No really.” Jane said. She craned her neck and fixated on the bright celestial body. “It’s been there as long as Earth. Like, when you think about it, I’m looking at the same moon that Cleopatra looked at. I’m looking at the same moon that freaking Jesus looked at.”
“Huh,” Jane said. “That is pretty neat I guess.”
Steph lowered to a near whisper. “That’s the same moon that my grandkids will look at too.”
Jane craned up. “I suppose that’s kind of comforting in a way. To know that everyone that’s ever lived has had that same moon.”
“Yeah my brother said something like that to me the first time we smoked together.”
Jane laughed again. “Really?” That sounded just like Tommy.
“Yeah dude, I was so baked. It blew my fucking mind.” They both laughed. Steph turned back to Jane with big eyes. “Yo I know what we should call the bowl.”
“What?” Jane asked.