Almost Home, by Brandy Stark

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My eyes snap open as the sounds on the windshield shift from the tapping of watery fingertips to the pounding of drowned fists.   I am alone in the car, but I still feel self-conscious at this grievous driver error. My thoughts have overwhelmed me and it takes a moment to focus again. I realize that the car has passed the outer cloudbank and is now captured in a curtain of gray falling from the sky in torrential strands.

I frown a bit; the Miata does not like heavy weather like this.  She never has. I have driven this car most of my adult life and, on the unlucky days that we are trapped in an afternoon monsoon, I find myself a jagged set of nerves driving her through Mother Nature’s weather tantrums. Trying to engage my empathy to her drenched plight, the Miata allows a droplet of water to slip through a pinhole tear in her vinyl top. It lands neatly on my glasses. I redouble my focus and put two hands on the wheel, hunching slightly forward toward the dash. I can feel the car pushing against the cascade of water that is flowing against us.

My thoughts ignore my will and wander again. There is much to do, so much and I am running behind. I hate being late, and I have to get home. I’m almost there. Is there enough time to get it all done?   My foot takes the opportunity to press slightly harder on the accelerator. The engine surges a bit as I start to take the turn at the light. Storefronts slide past me and fall into the hazy realm of peripheral vision; my eyes see only the entranceway to turn onto my street.   There is so much to do…

I tap the brakes to slow down, but something is wrong. In a split second I realize that I am no longer driving – the Miata has transformed from car to ship. I pull the wheel and feel her slide further still; my efforts have merely urged her on to an even wilder path. She knows I have lost control and my Miata is both excited and fearful; she lunges ahead, full of herself. I feel the wheels lift a bit as she madly dashes forward toward her newly won freedom. I am held into place by an invisible set of hands that first push me back into my seat, and then hauls me forward over the wheel. This is my second grievous driver error: I have not worn my seatbelt. It always seemed so inhibitive in the confined space of this car.

My eyes see things: stars, stretches of beautiful red, the white paint on crumpled metal, glorious colors….It is breathtaking; I have to close my eyes to keep from being overwhelmed by its excruciating beauty…

And then…

My eyes snap open as the sounds on the windshield shift from the tapping of watery fingertips to the pounding of drowned fists.   I am alone in the car, but I still feel self-conscious at this grievous driver error. This feels so familiar, and yet so strange. I look up and realize that the car has passed the outer cloudbank. We are now captured in a curtain of gray falling from the sky in torrential strands.

I frown a bit; the Miata does not like heavy weather like this.   She never has. I have driven this car most of my adult life and, on the unlucky days that we are trapped in an afternoon monsoon, I find myself a jagged set of nerves driving her through Mother Nature’s weather tantrums. Trying to engage my empathy to her drenched plight, the Miata allows a droplet of water to slip through a pinhole tear in her vinyl top. It lands neatly on my glasses. I redouble my focus and put two hands on the wheel, hunching slightly forward toward the dash. I can feel the car pushing against the cascade of water that is flowing against us.

My thoughts ignore my will and wander again. There is much to do, so much and I am running behind. I hate being late, and I have to get home. I’m almost there. Is there enough time to get it all done?   My foot takes the opportunity to press slightly harder on the accelerator. The engine surges a bit as I start to take the turn at the light. Storefronts slide past me and fall into the hazy realm of peripheral vision; my eyes see only the entranceway to turn onto my street.   There is so much to do…

I tap the brakes to slow down, but something is wrong. In a split second I realize that I am no longer driving – the Miata has transformed from car to ship. I pull the wheel and feel her slide further still; my efforts have merely urged her on to an even wilder path. She knows I have lost control and my Miata is both excited and fearful; she lunges ahead, full of herself. I feel the wheels lift a bit as she madly dashes forward toward her newly won freedom. I am held into place by an invisible set of hands that first push me back into my seat, and then hauls me forward over the wheel. This is my second grievous driver error: I have not worn my seatbelt. It always seemed so inhibitive in the confined space of this car.

My eyes see things: stars, stretches of beautiful red, the white paint on crumpled metal, glorious colors….It is breathtaking; I have to close my eyes to keep from being overwhelmed by its excruciating beauty…

And then…

My eyes snap open…I am alone in the car. The sounds on the windshield shift from the tapping of watery fingertips to the pounding of drowned fists, a noise that is etched into my memory. Yet, there is so much to do and so little time to do it….


brandy startBrandy Stark is an artist, educator and writer from the Tampa Bay area.  Before becoming full time faculty in the Humanities, she served as an arts correspondent for the St. Petersburg Times from 1998 to 2002.  She also wrote for other local publications, including Bayside News, Sterling Powell’s City Life, and several art based websites. Her award-winning creative writing has been published locally.  Recently, she self – published two booklets on the history and haunts of the Suntan Art Center (Spectral Musings) and Patty and Friends Antique Village (Ghostly Encounters:  Patty and Friends Antique Village).  Both may be purchased at Amazon.com in print or for Kindle.

Posted on September 3, 2017, in Issue 21: PhotoFlash 1--11 Visions and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Works for me!

    Aut viam inveniam aut faciam (I’ll either find a way or make one).

    Pax, Brandy Stark, PhD Art: http://www.bstarkart.com/Main.html Art on Facebook (BStarkArt)

    St. Petersburg Paranormal Investigation and SPIRITS of St. Petersburg: http://www.spiritsofstpetersburg.com

    ________________________________

  1. Pingback: Issue #21: PhotoFlash 1—Eleven Visions | The Were-Traveler

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