Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I is for Interstate Love Song

"You know that's a bad idea," he said.

"What's that?"

"Putting your feet up there." He pointed at my bare feet, propped up on the glove box. The polish on my toenails sparkled in the sun. The leather of the dash felt warm and toasty.

"Yeah," I said. I pushed my sunglasses up on the top of my head to keep my hair out of my eyes. "Why is that again?"

"Because if we're in an accident and the airbag goes off, you could lose your legs," he said.

"Right. Because your car's FANCY." My car was too old for passenger side airbags, which was why we never took it anywhere locally, and why we certainly wouldn't be taking it on a 6 hour road trip. Well, that and the fact that the air conditioning didn't really work. And the manual, crank 'em up windows. None of those were what you'd call fun on long summer drive. "Anyway, I think that since you're going ninety miles an hour, I'm going to have more problems than leglessness if we get in an accident. Also, perhaps safety isn't your highest priority."

He smiled. "Wiseass," he said affectionately. He took my hand, held it while he drove. "Anyway, I never want to see you get hurt. Because I loves you."

"Aw. Look at you, Mr Schmoopy."

"Also, I just cleaned that and now I'll be cleaning footprints off it."

"And the truth comes out," I said. It was too late now -- my feet had done their damage -- but I slid them down and sat with my legs crossed. He glanced over.


"No big," I said. It really wasn't. I took a big sip of my iced coffee. It was only eight in the morning, but it was already warm. "It's a great day to drive."

"I know, I feel like I could drive forever."

We were outside of Worcester when the signal on the radio station he preferred started to go. "May I?" I asked. Static drove me crazy.

"Have at it," he said, gesturing expansively at the console. "Please, no country music."

"Would I do that to you?"


"Okay, it was just that ONE time."

"Anything but that. Or there are cd's in the back."

I hit the button to scan through the channels ... techno, no ... something in spanish, no ... npr ... no ... Suddenly we picked up a station that had Garth Brooks coming through clearly. I paused and looked at him, speculatively.  He raised an eyebrow. "Just kidding!" I laughed and hit the button again.

And then there it was.

The opening riffs to the best road trip song ever.

"WOOO HOOOO!" I slid my sunglasses back down and shook my hair out. I turned off the air conditioning and rolled all of the windows down and then cranked the radio. He was already laughing. "I can't believe you do this EVERY time you hear this song."

I was already singing into the coffee as though it was a microphone, belting out the words along with Aerosmith. "Girl, before I met you, I was F I N E Fine!" I was also dancing as much as my seatbelt would allow as though I was a complete 80's rock star. He was laughing. When I got to the chorus, I held the coffee out to him. "You sing!"

"Tell me what it takes to let you go! Tell me how the pain's supposed to go!"

I leaned toward him and we both sang: "Tell me how it is that you can sleep! In the night! Without thinking you lost everything that was good in your life to the toss of the dice!!!!!!!"

"Dramatic finish!" I cried. He was madly drumming on the steering wheel. I was doing my best Tyler-esque scatting.

The song ended. I put my hair back up and put my sunglasses back up on my head, rolled up the windows, put the ac back on, and calmly resumed drinking my coffee as though nothing had happened.

He took my hand again, lifted it to his lips. "You are so completely weird."

"You love it."

"I really do."

I watched the road stretch before us through the windshield. Not a bad way to start a trip, I thought. Not bad at all.

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