Press Play Pt. 1: Inspired by “Road Regrets” by Dan Mangan
My sister and I used to pretend to be choking each other in the back seat of my parent’s maroon minivan. Quiet giggles seeped from us as we tried to rouse the passing cars, screaming for silent help, and hoping for stranger’s wide eyes as they caught a glimpse of what we were doing. With my sister’s hands gently around my neck, I would shake my body uncontrollably pretending to not breathe at her grasp. She would bare her teeth in an evil snarl, and glare at whoever made eye contact. Passing cars would roll their eyes at us stupid children playing during the early morning commute. My parents were oblivious in the front seat; or maybe they weren’t.
The day trips to the beach were the longest car ride in the world on the way there, like an epic journey across the never-ending land to cast a ring into a volcano. They were gone as quick as the sun setting on the return trip, a whole day gone within seconds. Maybe it only felt that way from our heavy eyelids pulling our sun soaked bodies to sleep, a spacey daze on the way home. We set out early in the morning to beat the Bay Bridge traffic during rush hour. We had to entertain ourselves somehow. Fake choking was deemed most appropriate in our young minds.
Oldies plagued the radio while we drove, my mother tapping her thumbs on the steering wheel to The Four Seasons. My father sat quietly in the passenger seat, fingers laced with each other dormant on his large stomach and hiding his tired eyes behind his sunglasses. My sister and I sat restless in the back seat, bored out of our minds. The beach was at our finger tips, and a Walkman could only take us so far. Remember those days?
The breeze gusting through my hair, the sun touching my face, I reached out the window with my arm as far as I could, feeling the wind cut around me. It felt like putting my hand through water, an invisible mass only felt at high speeds. Rain spiked my skin leaving pricks like needles. When we got closer to the shore, the occasional bug would slap my palm propelling it out of control into oblivion. I wonder whatever happened to those creepy crawlers after being hit by my sixty mile per hour limb. I loved the feeling of air on my hands. I would roll down my window, my sister on her side, and together we stuck our arms out flapping them in sync to help the van take flight from the highway to get us to our destination faster. One time, it almost worked…
Created: May 16, 2012Kim.Underwood Document Media