F I C T I O N You want a driveway moment? I’ll give you a driveway moment. No, it’s not some sad, uplifting, or enlightening story I’m listening to on NPR. And it’s not a favorite golden oldie on WWAM. Nor am I out here in the car contemplating the theory of relativity.
I’m sitting in the car that is parked in my driveway because I don’t want to go inside my house – at least not yet. Because when I walk through that door I have to be an adult who worries about my spouse (who thinks I take our marriage for granted), about my grown children (who won’t leave home), and about my parents (who may soon need to go into a home), and about planning for retirement (a train that has long since left the station).
Driving home from work I was able to find respite from all these wonderful topics, but now that I’m in the driveway, the only thing between me and the boogey man is the sanctity of my car. It may be old and have over 150,000 miles on it, but the seats still smell leathery and I am comfortable behind the wheel. I know everything about this car. The new tires on the back, each of the disc brake rotors I’ve had replaced, the new radiator hoses, it’s all documented in my mind. Really, when I think about it, I realize I have replaced 50-60% of the car by now. But the sound system is still A-1 so I can listen to some soothing classical music while working up the courage to leave the comfort of my “cabin.” Might as well put the seat in the reclining position to see if that will lessen the throbbing sensation in my frontal lobe. That’s working. I can already feel my heart rate slowing down, my hands have stopped clenching, and the damp brow is drying off.
I feel transported to a better place – a place where no demands are made of me. When I’m hungry, food appears. When I’m drowsy, a soft bed is there for me. Everyone speaks softly and we are gentle with one another. The sense is that everyone is solicitous without verging on obsequious. This is good – very good.
A loud rapping noise on my window shatters the reverie into a thousand tiny pieces. My son is staring at me through the fogged up window and mouthing some words. I’m confused – I don’t know what he’s trying to tell me. He makes a motion that I should lower the window, and I comply.
“Can you move your car so I can get mine out?”
No hello. No how are you. Doesn’t ask if I’m okay. Just stands there looking idiotic wearing a backward ballcap, waiting for me to move on, so that he can move on.
Fine. Until tomorrow then. This driveway moment is over.
Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He’s written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.