I Think We Were Lost

Germany. The new Saab. Our dad was driving, our mother in the passenger seat. I think we were lost. I was nine when we arrived in Germany, and ten when we left. A new country–a new continent–was an adventure. We travelled a lot; saw lots of things people might live their whole lives and never see. Venice. Paris. The Swiss Alps. Cows with little bells around their necks. The Mona Lisa. The Sistine Chapel ceiling. The Colosseum: cats everywhere. And the fighting got worse. We were on a backroad. What started as a bicker, about directions, probably, kept building, faster and louder, until our father slammed on the brakes and screamed: “Get out of the car!” at our mother. It was a dirt road. We sat there in a cloud of dust, billowing. You couldn’t see out the windows. The hills disappeared. The sky. No one moved. In this eerie quiet, this moment that went on too long, my brother unclipped his seat belt. He always sat on the left. And I always sat on the right. There was an invisible line down the middle of the seat between us. My stuff on this side, his stuff over there. I would read. I would draw in a notebook. We didn’t share a room any more. Or a language. He mostly steered clear of me. Maybe there wasn’t enough love to go around. But now, he slid across the seat, crossed the line onto my side. It was kind of a big deal. And he grabbed my hand, sat there squeezing it. We stayed like that until the car started up again, and drove on, with us still a family.

Published by msdeer

I am an interdisciplinary artist, slightly incognito here.

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