The Doors of Eternity

“Do you know what the doors of eternity are?”

They’re sitting in the back of his pickup truck, gazing up at the stars through the pines; empty beer cans by their feet.

“The door to where?” he fake-dumb asks.

“Don’t be a redneck,” she replies and elbows him in the ribs.

He recovers himself, “The doors of eternity are…” he manufactures a dramatic pause, “Love and money.”

She laughs, “Close, but no beer for you.”

“The doors of eternity are in a temple in Japan. They are kept closed for all but one day in the year when they are opened.”

“And then what do they let through?”

“Dunno,” she concedes, “But it sounds… ancient, don’t you think?”

He remains silent and puts his head back to look up into the darkness, “You have a long drive tomorrow. Should we get going?”

She starts to say yes but then traps the word in her throat and shakes her head. Instead she rolls over onto her knees and puts one leg over his hips to straddle him. The metal of the flatbed hurts her knees but she doesn’t notice.
She unbuttons the top two buttons of her checked shirt and then stops to let him do the rest. Once her shirt is open he stops but she says, “More.”

He reaches up with both hands and pulls down the cups of her bra to expose her breasts; the underwire bites painfully into her ribcage.

Tomorrow she will drive North, to Oklahoma, while he’ll remain in this oil drilling town; putting on his work boots every day and eating frozen dinners every night. But tonight, for one last time, they will spend a moment in eternity. And this moment will sustain them through the year until they can open the doors again.

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