Like our car.
The Ford Galaxie 500. Running my finger over the pattern pressed into the back of the seat, that No Man's Land between me and my sister. Clicking my fingernail over the ridges in the clear plastic knob you used to roll down the window. I always sat behind Dad, Denise behind Mom. Baby David sat in between them on the front bench seat. He would turn around and look at us and we responded as if he'd committed a crime against humanity.
Mom! Make him stop!
Do you remember the sound when the windows were rolled up, but the wings were open?
I threw up once on the floor of that car. Was it car sickness? Something else? I can't remember, but I do remember that my father wasn't happy. A stickler about his vehicles, the last thing he wanted was a car that reeked of sick. I cried and then he felt bad.
When I overreact to my children, I see my father in me.
|The Summer of '69.|
To keep the dust down, the gravel was oiled. The smells of petroleum and popcorn, french fries and sickly sweet snow cones hung in the air as we watched the movies and the people coming and going from the cinder block concession stand, an oasis of light and treats in the middle of the parking lot. The teenagers were of particular interest to me.
We sat in the car at the Big Boy under the awning and ate our cheeseburgers with tartar sauce and drank cherry cokes. I preferred the squishy crinkle fries. The carhops weren't on rollerskates, but I was fascinated by the silver coin dispensers they wore at their waists.
I don't know why my parents sold this car, but I know that my father is sorry that he did. The last he heard, the person he'd sold it to resold it to someone in Michigan, which is, I suppose, somehow fitting.
Your turn. What is the first car you remember?