Riding in Cars with Boys

by townmayor

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.

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