The Museum of Intangible Things

The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder

Book: The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder Read Free Book Online
Authors: Wendy Wunder
need to get out of here.”
    She is getting agitated again, and she stands up and begins straightening all the stuff on my shelves. My books, my trophies from third grade, my matchbook collection.
    “What do you mean, ‘out of here’?”
    “Road trip. You need one too, obviously. Your life is in the shitter. Everything gets better when you get out of town.”
    “I need to deal with some stuff here,” I tell her.
    “I saw the video. That’s exactly
why
you need to get out of here. You need to stop rescuing his ass. Let him figure it out for himself this time, Banana. Plus . . . everyone will be talking about it at school.”
    “Well played,” I tell her. She knows how hard it will be for me to face the people whispering about me behind my back. If she wants me to get out of town, that’s the reason I would go.
    She gets up and hugs me, and I cry a little onto the shoulder of her T-shirt.
    “Your shoulder bone just poked me in the eye bone. You’re doing the not-eating thing.”
    “I don’t need food right now. I need to get out of town. Till after Thanksgiving. That should be enough time.”
    “Enough time for what?” I had forgotten about Thanksgiving.
    “Stuff,” she says.
    “Well. This is bad timing. There were some developments. In the Danny Spinelli department. You slept through them. I had to talk about it with the soccer moms.”
    “I’m listening,” Zoe says.
    “Things were going well, and then I kind of sabotaged it.” I pace back and forth with my forehead in my hands. “And I can’t miss school tomorrow. I have a math test, and the school newspaper is going out. So we’ll have to deal with your shit here. In town. Because I have shit to deal with too.”
    Zoe finds a nail file in my drawer and begins scraping it against her thumbnail. “‘Why think about that, when all the golden lands ahead of you and all kinds of unforeseen events wait lurking to surprise you and make you glad you’re alive to see?’” she asks distractedly.
    “
Walden
?”
    “Nope.
On the Road
. Jack Kerouac. I memorized it.”
    “The whole book?”
    “I have newfound abilities.”
    “You need to talk to someone. You said yourself, the socks won’t work. It’s sort of stupid to think that they would keep working.”
    “Fine. I know what I need to do. It came to me while I was sleeping. I need to hit the road, and I’ll go with or without you.”
    “Fine, go,” I say, waving her away.
    “You’re calling my bluff.”
    “It’s okay to call someone’s bluff.”
    “No it’s not.” Zoe says, sticking out her bottom lip. “Hannah. Come with me. Please,” she begs. “Just for a little while. We’ll go talk to Danny right now. I’ll explain to him you’ll be back in a day or two. What harm could forty-eight hours do? You’ve been waiting to kiss him for six years. And . . .”
    “And what?” I ask.
    “And she signed the papers.”
    “What papers? Who?”
    “My mom . . . The commitment papers. She’s putting me in.”
    “No. I told her not to, Zo . . .”
    “Well, she’s like a mom and a nurse, and you are a seventeen-year-old hot dog vendor. She probably felt like she didn’t need to consult you.”
    “She really did it? Are you bullshitting me?” I’m astonished and hurt that she didn’t talk to me about it.
    Zoe unravels some documents she’d folded back and forth into a paper fan.
    “Fuck,” I say.
    “Now you’re talking. Pack a bag,” she says. “We’re going on an insouciant adventure. Insouciance. That’s your first intangible thing.”
    “I don’t need intangible lessons,” I say. “I feel things.”
    “Yes. But you feel the wrong things. Trust me. We’re leaving now,” Zoe says. “Packy packy!” She sweeps around the room looking for a bag to put some of my stuff in.
    I think of him while I smooth out and fold the ice cream sandwich wrapper he gave me and tuck it into my back pocket. “I think I can smell that he likes me. Danny,” I say. “He

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