As the energy drink of the morning wears off, I feel a wave of exhaustion creeping up. I tote my gear to the car, and simply sit for the first few minutes, winded from the walk and the weight of the briefcase, laptop still stowed. I tuck it into my suitcase, then begin the indelicate dance of changing in my car. I’m in a parking lot but have the privacy of two unattended vehicles to my right and left. I eat the last snack I brought, and hook my suit jacket to a hook above the left window, to shade from the sun. I pray, wiggle around, and find a reasonably comfortable angle in the tilted back car seat. The engine idles and runs the air conditioner. I turn the radio to a suspiciously 1950s sounding orchestral classical. It fades into a religious talk show. Two old white men are discussing rules for Christian children to live by. Or rather- one temporizes the Bible to justify authoritarian parenting while another listens passively. The section on rules for parents takes about half the time. I feel the dull sensation where self righteousness should be. I can fit all the pieces together why I should feel angry. But I just feel tired. There is nothing to do but grieve. So I sleep. When I awake, the sun is setting.

I take the next half hour to rebuild my outfit. I move slowly, assembling something that feels good to wear but manageable. I wish I could shower. But I’m staying put. I don’t know if I’ll be coming back here tonight, so I pack nighttime essentials, plus some adult toys and underwear. The Grindr chats ground to a halt, but I can’t help but hope something perfect happens.

And of course, something perfect will in fact happen tonight. Only it won’t have been what I planned.

But first, Responsibilities. I head indoors to eat dinner, the twilight and evening wind warming and chilling my best outfit.