Issue 3: Minimalism vs. Maximalism
A Publication of the USF MFA in Writing Program

Vehicular Needs

Ray Sikorski

She was the kind of woman I could always put my arms around, but I could never have her. She had needs, needs a simple farm boy could only attempt to satisfy. Vehicular needs.

Women like motorcycles, and Kelly was no exception. She had an affair with a guy who rode a motorcycle, and she was disappointed, of course. “He was nothing,” she said. “He was all bike. Nothing else. Not like you,” she said.

She moved on – a four-wheeler, a snowmobile, a Winnebago, a boat. “It was a bass-fishing boat,” she said. “We had sex in the boat. It was cold and wet. It was terrible,” she said. “It was depressing,” she said.

“Why do you leave me,” I asked, “if you know you’ll be disappointed?”

“I don’t know,” she apologized. “But I always come back.”

For a while she hung out at the airport, until finally she got a ride in a plane. She got airsick, then he got airsick. So she came back to me.

I took her out in the hay field one day, and we sat behind the haystack, among the stubble. “Kelly,” I said. “I’m not flashy and I can’t say I’m romantic. But my family has a cattle/grain truck and a pickup, two tractors and a combine and a swather, and we have many attachments for the tractor, including a baler and a disc and a harrow and a duckfoot, and we also have a chain saw and a post-hole digger.”

“I know,” she smiled. “I love harvest season, riding with you in the combine late into the night, feeling the dry barley chaff on my cheeks. That’s why I always come back to you.” And we sat there, behind the haystack, and kissed for a long time.

We kissed until it came. We heard it first, before we saw it. It sounded like, well… it sounded like a UFO. Then we saw a glint of light against the sky, and the first thing I thought was, Oh shit. And I looked at Kelly, and I looked at her eyes, just staring at it, and I thought, Oh shit.

It was round and shiny and it looked just like a UFO, and it landed right there in the stubble, right in front of us. Her eyes were all lit up even before he, or it, put the top down – it was a convertible. And a two-seater, so I knew there was no chance of me coming along. I was in trouble.

The man, if it could be called a man, didn’t impress me. But that’s not what mattered to Kelly. He was green with three eyes coming out of his head, and I suppose he was your typical alien – but not that good-looking. He was a third-rate alien in a first-rate UFO.

“Kelly,” I said, but she was lost. “Kelly, please,” I said. I didn’t want to raise my voice, I knew it wouldn’t help. She walked over to it, and he held out a tentacle for her. “Kelly,” I said, but no, it was too late. She got in and she was gone, and this time, I knew, she wasn’t coming back.

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