I have felt inspired lately, but have been lacking words. So here’s just a rough draft of something.
Late night drives make strides. They share significance and intimacy between those in backseats and behind the wheel. Memories of the long days are solidified while silent memories of the drives themselves polish over them. They are motionless despite the needle on the speedometer.
There’s a daughter trying to sleep in the backseat, but she can’t because even at eleven she understands that this is the last time her father will be driving from his mother’s in New Jersey back home to Ohio. She rests the best she can around the uncomfortable seatbelt strap and goes through her small pile of new possessions. A refrigerator magnet. A two-pound dumbbell. A Christmas ornament. The realtor bored her. And being bored made her think about what the house had already lost. Her father had asked her to go through the house one last time and take the things she wanted, and she had pulled them away like pins. Now the glowing teal light of the dashboard gleams over them as her dad flips on one of his last cassette tapes and the child thinks you will never be lost again.
Soon after, there’s a girl on her first long drive alone to a place she’s never been. She’s seventeen and can’t believe she lied to her father about spending the weekend at a friend’s in order to see some party at a college out in the boonies. The miles of suburbs flattened into grain and darkened into an unidentifiable map, which makes her feel like she’s somehow floating above it all. All her family trips as a child had brought her east, not west, and the dull, British tones of the GPS sound muffled under Rosalita. She looks at the ceramic Santa Claus dangling from her rearview mirror as a compass, willing it to tell her where she’s supposed to go.
And then there are two sometime lovers better off as friends- too old to be sneaking around this late at night but too young to forget how exciting it feels. His curt gentlemanliness asks her how long they’ve been driving and she doesn’t tell him her hometown exit was thirty miles back. She tucks on arm around the other but unfolds her legs at the knees. They listen to Bruce Springsteen like her dad had taught her.
I can hear I-90 from the open window of my friend’s apartment, where I try to fall asleep on the floor amidst my transition into hangover. There’s a a swipe of movement and then silence. In its wake, I can hear the young man ask the girl in the passenger seat “do you trust me yet?”
And I still didn’t trust him but I could try. I did try. In that car on that night with his hand on my naked knee and Thunder Road barreling behind us, I tried.
While some bridges unfolded beneath the spinning tires, others we burned.
I finished an author imitation piece I wrote for one of my classes. It’s not a writing style I’m used to pursuing, so I want some opinions as to whether or not I pulled it off.
The story is in the Read More, if you would be so inclined to read it and let me know a couple things:
1. Can you tell me the timeline of events?
2. Can you tell me what has actually happened in this story?
Thanks in advance, literary lovers.
I’m putting this in a read more because it’s just too darn long to do anything else with.
I can’t get myself to focus on poetry as of late. Chunks of fiction is the best I can do. Maybe I’ll pick up some new poetry books at the store tomorrow to get back in the swing of things :)
“I’m coming, I’m coming, Jesus Fucking Christ this better be important,” returned a voice, growing in volume as the last member of the band stumbled into the room, shirtless, revealing a tattoo of a squid on the left part of his olive-skinned chest.
Again, Micki’s gushing voice reverberated in my brain: Sesh Pasechi. Guitarist. Gorgeous. God.
His hair, a dusty sort-of brown, like wet sand on the Maryland beaches, stuck every which way with post-concert dried-out perspiration. A toothbrush hung between his pink lips. He yawned and stretched his arms high above his head, making the squid grow longer, and nicely highlighting the fitness that powering through intense three hour concert sets every single night provides a young man. Finally, his eyes, a greyish-green that shone easily with each of his slow, sleepy blinks, landed on me. Instantly, his expression went quizzical.
This is some of that banter I was imagining between my superhero and his accomplice. There is something undoubtedly loving and sexy to me about a relationship where two people can be flirtatiously argumentative.
“I still don’t understand why you have me in this dentists’ office.” I grumbled as I stroked my lazy five o’clock shadow.
“We’re in the most state-of-the-art, high-tech, well-protected laboratory in the world. The President even has a hard time getting clearance here. Hardly a dentists office.” Holt replied.
“Yeah, well, it still smells like hand santizer and toothpaste.” As normal, he ignored my persistent whining. The unmistakable clicks of high heels grabs my attention.
“Ahh, here we are.” Holt gestured towards the approaching grenade in a Vana White fashion. “Daxton Wylie, I’d like you to meet Francielle Claudette.”
Despite the pristinely white lab coat, perfectly perpendicularly rectangular glasses, oil-black bun and stone-cold expression, the woman was still extremely attractive. Her small, round chin tilted up just slightly so she could look down through her brown, plastic frames. Her skin was remarkably smooth and apricot-toned. She’s the only thing in this sterile wasteland I’d be willing to bet smelled remotely more appealing than disinfectant.
I put on my winningest smile and replied, “Miss Claudette.” She didn’t even stop to look at me. Holt and I had to practically jog to keep up as she widdled away her signature on clipboards being handed to her left and right by other eggheads in white jackets.
“I am not your first grade teacher, Mr. Wylie, you may call me Dr. Claudette. A few of my students get away with calling me Professor but seeing that you are not an advanced doctoral student at Cal Tech, you do not receive this privilege.”
I try to get in front of her to stop her walking, but to no avail. Her voice is commanding and calm. “Cal Tech, A Cali girl, huh?”
Her expression is still solid and she does not stop her purposeful steps, echoing in the room tiled floor to ceiling. “I have 6 Ph.D.’s all under the umbrella of biotechnology, computer sciences, and chemistry. I also have a Master’s in psychology, but that was just a fluke from all of the core requirement classes I’ve had to take over the years.”
I let out a scoff. “Your SAT score must have been through the roof.”
“Silly standardized tests mean nothing but to sort the masses on a meaningless scale of multiple choice… But for the record, I did achieve a perfect score on my SAT.”
“It’s been done.”
“Yes it has… But I was the first to do it at seven years old.”
Finally, she stops, and turns heel in my direction, and I notice a little smirk on her lips. While her body points at me, her eyes, a devastatingly hawk-like gold, land on Holt.
“If that’s all you’ll need of me today, Mr. Harlem, I’m afraid I’m very busy. We shall arrange the demonstration we spoke of at a later date.”
“Sounds great,” Holt nodded, standing stiffly straight as if expecting her to scold him for his poor posture.
Never one to feel invisible, I tossed in, “well, it was nice to meet you, Frankie.”
She corrected me instantly and finally flicked those eyes my way. “Dr. Claudette.”
Her round, red lips formed a little ‘o.’ “Mr. Wylie!” She exclaimed. But it was I, this time, who was walking away from her, following Holt towards the way we came. Over my shoulder, I winked.
“Please. Call me Dax.”