Those Days

We only had one car. So some days I would drive him in to work. And some days he would drive me to school. When he dropped me off I would be very early. So I would go into a small room in the basement that contained only a few couches and a couple video games. Sometimes I would forget to unplug the games and after I lay down I would hear the beeping. The noises designed to attract people to the ‘thrilling’ racing game. I would get back up, be sure no one watching – as I was sure I would get in trouble – and I would take the plug from the wall. I used our portable, battery powered alarm clock. I would curl up on a couch – preferably one that was sort of in the corner, a little more private. It was very quiet when I would fall asleep. The students weren’t around this early. I would see a few employees but that was about it. Awhile later when I would wake to my alarm, there would be tons of students on the first floor. I could see them up the staircase, ready for class, mingling, having breakfast in the fast food area. I would be bleary eyed and tired. I’d drag myself upstairs and hope that I wouldn’t see anyone I knew. I would go outside – often this was a painful process as it was in New England and could be freezing out. I would walk to the next building, the gym, where I would show my ID and head not to the exercise equipment or pool but to the shower. I would emerge ready for classes.

I cannot say that I really drove eric to work. He would wake me up when it was time to go. I would slip on my shoes and wrap myself in the blanket Mom made me. He would be ready for work in his khakis, dress shirt and tie. He’d grab his briefcase and we’d walk down the three flights of stairs. I would get in the passenger seat. Sometimes I slept – curled up in the Tempo’s passenger backward tilted seat. I was always partially awake, aware of the car beneath me, the morning show on the radio. The turns would signify how close we were to eric’s work. This was my last bit of sleep before I would take the wheel, drive home, and get ready for my day.

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