Rather than a photo, today I’m posting a piece of writing a friend submitted to me about a car journey home.
She drives a Micra. Red. I don’t drive. Not because I don’t want to but because I’ve never needed to. Some people were born to drive and others to read the map. Some people know when they’re in the right place whilst others concentrate on getting there. She is the former and I am the latter.
We drive through the pouring rain whilst she insists that the dents were there before she got the car and I believe her. She drives a little fast on the wet roads in a hurry to evict me. She’s beautiful. Not in the classical sense but the way the street lights catch her face when she smiles makes me pause. She probably doesn’t realise that I am starring in awe as she concentrates on seeing the road through failing wipers.
Unlike mine, her heart has no central locking, and it’s usually left open.
She was born in the 90s but claims she’s a millennial. Or at best a high class hipster a little too late to the scene. Her car has a cassette player and she has cassettes. She flicks through the radio stations rather than sticking to one. It’s a hypnotic mix of nineties girl bands, naughties drum and bass and modern rap. The sound, like the journey, seems surreal. She is afraid of silence. It makes her nervous so she fills the gaps while she searches the airwaves with conversation. Politics, the past and the future all come up and fade away. I find it difficult to keep up as she flicks between subjects like she flips between stations. She thinks I’m clever as we fence with words over first world problems. I think I’m trying too hard. My points are disjointed, confused even. I hope she doesn’t realise that I don’t believe in half of what I’m saying. It’s just nice to hear her speak. She’s passionate about women’s rights and she gets more and more animated as we speak, taking her hands off the wheel on more than one occasion. I’m not sure that it’s entirely safe but we are living in the moment and I’m willing to take the chance.
She loves star wars and regularly cries during movies. Fiction is sometimes real for her and I envy her ability to detach herself from reality. Whilst she admits this she flicks her hair nervously with her hand like I’d think less of her. In reality, I’m fascinated by her. She is so different from how I remember her yet still the same. Where time has weathered me she has blossomed into something worth keeping hold of.
Her favourite animals are sharks. She claims they are misunderstood animals. Jaws made them into man-eaters that stalk swimmers stealthily, silencing screams with sudden strikes. In reality, she claims, people pose a bigger threat to sharks than sharks do to people. I agree. She seems surprised. I guess she has gotten used to fighting for her beliefs. We sink into silence as we slow to a stop. Home. We say our goodbyes and promise to speak in the new year. I open the door and step into the hammering winter rain as she slips away into the night with a failed brake light and dipped beams.
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