Riding in Cars with Boys
I don’t like riding in his car. Otherwise, it’s fine: we are easy companions.
But in the car, there are no rules. He drives it like it’s stick and he leans back in such a way that turns my understanding of the situation into something else.
It reminds me of this boy I hardly knew in high school.
I grew up at the top of a long country rode and I passed him often when I finally began to drive around in my sister’s abandoned, piece of shit car. He was older, my neighbor. In the summer when I was seventeen, I finally pulled over and offered him a ride.
I don’t think I’m ready for that, He said. He had a sly, almost embarrassed smile. There was sweat dripping into his eyes.
At the time, I laughed it off, uneasy at his careless sexuality. His hand touched my window as I pulled away. Years later, his mother found him hanging in the trees in between our houses. I was long gone by then.
Somehow in a car, you give away your own possession. Despite the circumstances, the air is occupied by tension, your lack-of-will. Whether you want it or not, his hands touch the shift, the radio, the windows and your hair is open and there is no control.