Page 19 - WTP Vol. XI #5
P. 19

with a hint of green, a hue that the Volvo corporation called “willow.” After hearing how one of Mil’s male friends teased her about her ugly “puke green,” car, I wasn’t expecting a hue so calm and appealing.
 We took that willow Volvo to a local zoo. Mil rode alongside Tom, directing his every turn. But he ig- nored her driving directions, opting for a longer yet simpler route he remembered, rather than a shorter one his mother probably didn’t.
spoke, except for an occa- sional, muttered snippet, a reaction to a strange world locked inside her head. "
“Thomas! I don’t know why you’re not following my directions,” Mil said.
y once loquacious
“This way is easier for me,” Tom said.
mother now rarely
I checked my phone and he was right. The shortest route required multiple zig-zagging turns, was confusing as hell, and saved approximately three minutes.
“You’re adding unnecessary wear and tear on the car!” she blurted out before settling into a pout.
 I thought, no wonder there’s only 50,000 miles on that odometer. But I also wondered how Mil felt knowing that soon she’d relinquish control over anything we might put her Volvo through in the fu- ture: speeding, hard braking, second-rate repair jobs, fender benders, infrequent oil changes, and spread- ing donut crumbs all over its lush leather interior.
That second bump inspired me.
“Hey, Tom, you know what?”
(continued on next page)
On our road trip back to California, I talked Tom into keeping all three cars. We’d simply scrap whichever of our old beaters broke down first. Since my job required a much longer commute, we agreed that eventually the Volvo would be mine.
The plan seemed logical, but frankly, I was stalling. I wasn’t ready to relinquish my Toaster. I was taller and heavier than Mil, and spoiled by the ideal buttocks-height of my Toaster’s car seats. Crawling out of the low-framed Volvo took greater effort than I was used to, and lowering myself in was even a greater challenge: I’d bumped my head twice on the frame before we’d even hit Omaha, Nebraska.

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