taxing to the utmost; testing powers of endurance
But she can’t avoid this, her eighteenth birthday. It will bring on everyone’s forced cheer. They will be trying for her, which means she’ll have to try for them, too, and this will be harder and more
arduous than her run today.
become or make sore by or as if by rubbing
She squeezes out the last bit of Aquaphor from an old tube, slathers what’s left onto all her
chafed spots, and then covers them with Band-Aids.
a supporting tower used to support a bridge
Oh wow. Oh wow, wow, wow. It’s a railway
trestle. It’s creaky-looking and made of ancient timbers, and it rises precariously from the ground that is so very far below.
in a manner affording no ease or reassurance
Oh wow. Oh wow, wow, wow. It’s a railway trestle. It’s creaky-looking and made of ancient timbers, and it rises
precariously from the ground that is so very far below.
move by degrees in one direction only
ratchets and hums.
estimate the nature, quality, ability or significance of
It’s been one of her biggest problems, hasn’t it?
the process of paying close and continuous attention
Every time she waited at a bus stop or was at a party with boys and alcohol or was just plain alone, she felt the high alert of
causing extreme distress
harrowing adrenaline blend, being fearless and afraid at the same time.
mindful of the future in spending money
“I’m not cheap, I’m
thrifty.” He’s a little cheap. He hoards fast-food ketchup packets and steals the small containers of jam from restaurant tables.
deprive of oxygen and prevent from breathing
Malcolm wiggles his eyebrows up and down. She’s going to kill him, too. He’s going to get it tonight,
smothered with his own pillow from the Sleepy Inn.
continuing forever or indefinitely
Dawn Celeste tells everyone that she’s a retired social worker and
perpetual wanderer, and Luke is a college student on hiatus.
an interruption in the intensity or amount of something
Dawn Celeste tells everyone that she’s a retired social worker and perpetual wanderer, and Luke is a college student on
no longer in force or use; inactive
After everyone leaves, Gina yanks Grandpa Ed’s sleeve. “Pop, I need a word with you.” They are over by the
defunct cigarette machine.
sit or lie with one's limbs spread out
In their room at the Sleepy Inn, Malcolm is bugging the hell out of Annabelle, who is
sprawled on the bed in her monkey pajamas.
She doesn’t bother because they are both
chronic apologizers, and
chronic apologizers know that sorry is also just sorrow for the general state of the world.
preserve a dead body
embalmed hearts of popes are on display at a church near the Trevi Fountain in Rome.
not having a material form
There is a strange fascination with
a narrow gorge or ravine cut by a stream
Next, there is endless flat farmland, stretching like a yellow sea. And then, for two days, she is on a forest service road. Loretta keeps her entertained with names: Cougar
Gulch (eek), Roaring Ranch (nice), Beehive Road (adorable), Swauk Creek (where gold was discovered in 1873, she read that morning).
come into being; become reality
Finally, today, farmhouses begin to appear, and then come the gas stations and feed stores that mean a city is about to
the quality of wearisome constancy and lack of variety
Her day’s run is almost done, and all she wants is food, water, rest, and a break from the day’s
a swaggering show of courage
She can sense all the other stuff you find at any high school, too—the
bravado and insecurity and self-consciousness and pretending.
judge tentatively or form an estimate of
His shoulders turn inward with shyness and he watches the others carefully, as if he’s
gauging what his own response should be.
characterized by undue haste and lack of thought
See what happens when you're
impulsive? she lectures herself.
a longing for something past
“Oh, God. Go ahead. But disregard any Raffi.”
nostalgia, I get it.”
a roof or part of a roof in the form of a dome
There are three stories at least, and it’s got one of those curved
cupolas that would be perfect to do your homework in.
a random assortment of things
There’s the kind of
mishmash of flowers that look unplanned but are oh-so-carefully planned.
turn or place at an angle
She scowls. He’s saying the same things as Dr. Mann. That her perceptions
skew reality. That her guilt does.
a low, continuous sound
It is not the sound of her own clock, moving her to the horror of what’s coming. It’s the base
thrum of a trucker’s radio. It is the purposeful thump of hooves. It is an ancient drumbeat, old as time.
without or almost without hope
The much-anticipated marker ahead does not bring her the joy she thought it would. No. Instead, after three and a half weeks of this, her first month, she’s suddenly
despondent. Beyond exhausted. Disgusted and fed up and aching with the madness of it all.
turn sharply; change direction abruptly
There are also the exciting thin metal posts with the flashers on top, so drivers don’t
veer off into ditches because of pitch-blackness or sheer boredom.
worn and broken down by hard use
And let’s not start about the evening Listerine gargling or the morning throat clearing, which sounds like her neighbor...trying to start up his
so lacking in interest as to cause mental weariness
For the last few days, she’s been in eastern Washington, and sure, there’s the beauty of the Palouse of eastern Washington, until the endless, unchanging, ceaseless,
tedious, flat beauty of the Palouse of eastern Washington makes you want to kill yourself.
profane or obscene expression usually of surprise or anger
At least, she tries to call Grandpa Ed, but her phone has no service.
Insert a great deal of
Grandpa is probably in Worley now, checking out all four of its streets so he can give her the lowdown of the place in
by the way (used to introduce a new topic)
She turns left onto South Marsh Road, where,
incidentally, there is no marsh.