In the Backseat

This WP prompt is from Judy Reeve’s A Writer’s Book of Days. I wrote for about fifteen or twenty minutes. Here is my first writing:

I remember camping trips and all our gear packed into the trunk of of our Chevy Malibu and at our feet in the backseat: sleeping bags and duffels. We sat cramped and cross-legged tent poles on on the floor. No room for pillows. If we wanted pillows we had to sit on them. or fold them over Sleeping bags where our feet should be wasn’t so bad. Sometimes there was a cooler at our feet. No give. Our legs would be imprinted by the hard plastic design, by stitching. We’d get hot and sweaty. I don’t remember Dad running the ac often. He’d crank the windows down and air roared through, tangling my hair.

It was best to sleep in the backseat.

Or stare out the window daydreaming. I imagined I had curly hair. Tight ringlets. I imagined my adult life. I thought I would wear bright primary and secondary track suits and my husband would match me; we’d drive a giant pickup truck and have a yellow lab and a chocolate lab because it seemed adult to have dogs, even though I didn’t even like dogs. Having a dog leash and taking the dog for walks seemed adult.

I daydreamed whole other lives.

And I still do, sometimes.

In the backseat we’d fall asleep against each other like dominoes. We’d sleep against the car door.

I remember looking at the handle and wondering if I could do it, just open the door while Dan Dad flew up a hill.

We’d shrug each other off with bony shoulders and pushes. Mom passed treats snacks to the backseat: g Goldfish crackers, apples, Kudos bars. On long rides we played travel size board games: checkers, Chinese checkers. We played war, endless games of two decks war. On long trips when we got a treat from the gas station, like soda or Yoohoo, the three of us had to share. One sip one sip one sip. Once my sister guzzled her one sip of soda until her eyes watered and she threw up.

I remember making M&Ms last; even when it was hot and the shell broke against the roof of your mouth, you could still eat them one at a time.

I remember tickle was wars, quiet contest, pinching fights. I remember taking sides when there wasn’t room to take sides. I remember Mom making puppet shows or reading aloud from a book. I remember w feeling queasy and glad to be where we were going.

I will write more about car rides and my backseat life. For a long time, my siblings and I inexplicably fought over the middle seat. We played games and fought and talked, but mostly I remember car rides as a time to let my mind wander. What a rich time!

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