Escape act "I see what people do whose work i admire, and sometimes i also learn what not to do,"He said. A lifetime resident of palo alto and graduate of the university of california, davis with a degree in philosophy, peterson has written since college, where a teacher encouraged him to pursue writing. The concrete teepees in holbrook, ariz., were the setting for"Escape act"And served as his inspiration, although he"Didn't know what would happen after writing the first paragraph. "Escape act By tony peterson By thursday morning they had gotten as far as holbrook, arizona, a place with tepeeshaped motels and, from what they had seen, not much else.It was pretty far west from where they had begun, but not quite as far as had been planned.Holbrook was the spot where the car broke down, right in front of a concrete tepee. Earlier, shortly after having set out, taylor had spoken at length of the car's reliability, the new points, plugs and hoses.He was therefore truly annoyed by this unexpected turn, and went about proving it by cussing and snorting and pounding his fists atop the hood until several small dents were visible there.As a result, the skin on his knuckles became shredded and bloody.He fancied himself heroic, in a tragic, downandout sort of way. Jessie watched him from a distance, from the tepee's open door.She had her hands folded and tucked beneath the yellow, oversized sweatshirt she wore, the one with red lettering which had not yet faded as it was still quite new.It was really taylor's shirt, but what was once exclusively his was now his and hers, and vice versait had been agreeduntil the day they died.Such things had been discussed in the form of whispered vows and promises, made at close range into each other's ears.And the two of them had carried through with these words as well, had proven they were something more than just talk, by tossing everything they needed into one large duffel bag and two boxes, with no thought at all to separating out mine from yours.This mingling of articles, though, jessie knew, had more of a practical than symbolic importance, as they had departed in a hurry the night before, with little time to bother over such things as whose socks and shorts go where. Obar varsity wrestling is what the sweatshirt read, and it had a hood which jessie brought down as she came at taylor from behind.He had ceased his flailing and was examining his wounds, head lowered, fingering the small dents which frustration had wrought.Jessie believed it was now safe to approach and took his hand, stone cold in the palm but hot like flame along the knuckle's ridge.Interesting, she thought. Empathizing, she sucked freezing fall air through clenched teeth and asked,"You all right? "Referring to his cut hand. "Think you know what's wrong? "Referring to the brokendown impala. Answering both questions at once, taylor shrugged and mumbled,"I don't know yet, maybe. "His breath was coming out through his nostrils in a vapor, thick and white.It recalled to jessie the image of such clouds as appeared above obar after a hard rain.Still holding his hand, jessie squatted and scooped some snow from the ground.When she went to place it on his cuts, she warned him that it might sting but he pulled back anyway and swore at her when it was applied. "Damn, girl! "He shook the snow from his hand. "What the hell? "He turned from her to examine the car's engine. Jessie covered her head with the hood and went back toward the tepee, where that morning they had spent 35 of their dollars and only a few hours of their time resting under the sheets.The excitement which accompanies flight had by then subsided somewhat, and both of them were feeling a little drained.In the doorway, jessie now sat astride the duffel bag beside the two boxes full of their wrinkled possessions.She didn't wonder for long why taylor had chosen to beat up the impala as his first recourse, saving as his second the more sane option of checking out what might be wrong with the engine.Neither did she wonder for long why she was there in holbrook, nor whether leaving obar was the right thing to do, nor whether she really wanted to keep that baby inside her, to be a west coast mother and all that.As she sat there, jessie tried not wondering a whole host of things. Watching taylor, however, breathing that smoke from his nose and mouth, bent at the waist beneath the car's hood which was swung open wide like the maw of some great beast, she couldn't help but wonder something.And what she wondered, was whether all this not bothering to wonder was going to catch up before very long, sneak up from behind and cut the legs out from beneath her.Despite her best efforts not to, jessie sometimes wondered against her will. Keith was wide awake in bed.He was lying on his back, staring at queerly shaped shadows cast on the ceiling by moonlight squeezed through the boughs of a sycamore, which sometimes tapped at his window during storms.There was no tapping that night, though, a calm night, so keith was able to hear well enough all that was going on outside and below himthe car rolling to a stop on the gravel drive, the muffled voices of his daughter and that Evening Dresses UK taylor or tyler or whoever he was, the bumping around and scrambling, the hollow thump of empty bureau drawers closing and the rattling of hangers dropping to the closet floor as sweaters and dresses were hastily removed.Keith heard it all while staring straight up, his hands behind his head.But what the hell more, he thought, am i supposed to do? Briefly, and only half seriously, he considered stomping down the stairs and appearing in the dim, yellow light of jessie's room, ruining their escape act.He'd be clutching a shotgun, of course, and although he couldn't think of anything at the moment, he imagined that something witty and dramatic and true would issue forth and cause the boy to run and never return.Jessie and he would then make the necessary amends and live peaceably as a loving, if slightly imbalanced, family of two. But that was pure fantasy, the type indulged in by the dissatisfied while lying in bed staring at shadows.Keith had no idea where his shotgun was.Maybe it was wrapped in a blanket in the attic, but he wasn't sure.And he didn't feel like getting up and getting dressed either, which he would have to do if there was any hope that he would be taken seriously.After all, credible threats and important words cannot be spoken by one clad only in boxer shorts and a threadbare tshirt.He was sure of that.He could not imagine eisenhower or patton, for example, in their underwear addressing the troops, knute rockne being half as effective with his gipper speech in anything less than the appropriate attire.He tried to see these things in the shadows above, but the images just would not come. So he stayed put and allowed them to believe that what they had been was stealthy and wise, refused to disrupt their fantasy.He let them go on thinking that what they were doing was the right thing and that we are all bound by our whispered promises and nighttime vows. They wouldn't believe him if he had told them otherwise, and it was just as well, he thought, because most things are more thoroughly learned first hand.And what the boys and girls of today really need, more than anything keith thought, is to learn things more thoroughly.By staying in bed, by not interfering, he figured he was doing them a service, he figured he was being a sort of good father. Keith turned his head and looked out the window as they drove slowly away.Taylor or tyler, whoever, waited until he was out on the road to turn on his headlights.Crafty son of a bitch, that one.Keith thought about what scant knowledge was actually required to get by reasonably well in the world, how little we really need to know to get the socalled necessitiesfood, shelter, companionship.He thanked god for this, but remained cheerless and went to stand by the window and stayed there with his arms at his side for so long that his legs became cold and stiff.His knees creaked along with the floorboards as he went back to bed, finally falling to sleep shortly before dawn, the sycamore shadows receding and giving way to the chipped gray paint of the ceiling above. The same morning that the car wouldn't start in holbrook, taylor's father woke his wife.He shook her by the shoulder, clutching the note their son had left on the kitchen table. "Dear mom and dad,"He read each word in a slow, studied manner, as one might read a riddle for the first time, searching for hidden clues.His bathrobe had come undone and nora believed her husband, though certainly no dolt, was acting after the fashion of one. "Sorry.We had to go.I'll talk to you some time soon.Don't worry.Love, taylor and jessie. " He continued looking at the note, long enough to read it to himself several times more.Nora had the uneasy feeling that this was precisely what he was doing, trying to decode the perfectly clear.She did not like seeing him this way, and got up to take the note from him. "Well what are we supposed to do now?We're supposed to do something.We have to do something. " "Ok, honey,"Nora said. "Let's go do something. "And nora walked out to the kitchen, put on a pot of coffee, and fried up some eggs.There was toast and bacon, too.Damon sat at the kitchen table, not saying a word, watching as his wife went about with the calm preparation of a morning meal.Watching her, he somehow felt better, the orderly parade of the mundane serving as a kind of tonic.By the time he finished eating, he was feeling closer to his normal self again, a little less baffled.He thanked nora for the meal and reached across the table to hold her hand. "Maybe we should call over to the rose's place,"He said. "And talk to jessie's dad.See what he might know. " "Maybe after a little while,"Nora said. "It's still so early yet.Anything might Prom Dresses 2013 very well happen, you've got to know that.More coffee? " Damon slid his cup across the tabletop.Nora took it to the counter and filled it, stirred in some sugar and milk as her husband sat there thinking about the countless things that might very well happen. Taylor let out a holler, sending out a puff of white vapor. "Here it is!I got it! "His arms were deep into the workings of the engine, his voice distant.Jessie could see taylor's thick back, hunched up, and the shoulders rolling beneath his shirt.But from where she was, reclined upon the duffel bag in the tepee's doorway, she could not see his bowed head.He was headless and he was her lover and together they were traveling west.Traveling west with a headless man.How strange, she thought. "Really? "She said, rising, surprised at the enthusiasm with which she responded. "You got it fixed? "