Monday, February 22, 2010

Car Ride

His hair, or what is left of it, is blowing in the wind rushing in from the darkness outside. He is talking almost incessantly, and I listen with both ears, because I know what is coming.

A dog licks my hand and I am alone in the back seat, swimming in beige leather, listening to the sound of hearts breaking all around me. I myself am remembering things that I would rather not remember. I see my mother’s hands, empty , as she holds them out to me. I don’t know what I am supposed to do with these hands, only that they held me at one time, long ago, smelling of Red Door and detergent and sickness.

His voice startles me awake.

“I never wanted to cause that kind of pain to anyone,” he is saying, and keeps talking. I look out the window at the people flapping around like leaves on the street. I watch a drunken man lead a child across the street. The little boy`s hair shines like an otter pelt in the sun, and I direct my eyes away from him. Too bright, I think, and my head throbs.

He turns in his seat to look at me. His eyes are dark.

"I remember that," he says, and I hear my voice from somewhere far away asking him what he remembers.
"I remember suffering", and the world swirls around me, passing in and out of tinted windows. I remember suffering too, I think, but I cannot say this to him, because in front of me there are tunnels. Ones that you shield your eyes against because, like the little boy, they are too bright.

And the other kind.. the kind that you feel like you can't get out of, the ones filled with ghosts and men who drive in cars, whispering secrets to anyone who will listen.

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