Friday, August 08, 2008
It happens at night, when the world's gone dark.
The streets are empty and the lights are green. The only light is from the glare of the streetlights as we screech around corners and race down the asphalt, past the glow of houses and neon signs.
It's when we're driving.
It's when the music is loud and the cool night air blows through the car, swirling around our heads and smelling of freedom.
It happens when my pulse thumps in my throat as he looks at me with that certain grin. His eyes twinkle and his foot slams to the floor. And we go driving.
I prop my feet on the dashboard and let my hips wiggle in the seat. He just grins and guns it, whipping around the corner as I laugh. He turns the dial louder and I yell the words along, shaking my shoulders and letting the beat flow through my chest. It doesn't matter how many times I've heard the song, it feels brand new again.
Then the neon signs switch to open fields, miles of barbed wire and tall grass. Out here, the roads are smooth and open. The music is accompanied by the roar of the wind in our ears and the rumble of the engine under my feet. Ben's eyes are bright and his face is pinched with an intense glee. For a brief moment, we are flying.
As we weave through neighborhoods, I let my mind wonder as my lips mouth the words to the music. I think about how cars have defined our relationship. Our first kiss was outside his truck freshman year of college. We spent hours driving when we couldn't go anywhere else because of dorm rules and a conservative college town. We talked about our life, our hopes, our dreams and our fears as we covered the road from Austin to Shreveport to San Antonio to Waco and back again. We got engaged in a car. We planned our wedding in a car. We even introduced the Babies to car travel.
And then the music fades, and he lowers the dial so it gently pulses through the night. The wind eases into a soft breeze and the wheels slow to a gentle glide.
We turn on our street and pull into the driveway. My pulse returns to normal and the feeling of freedom has been whisked with one of normalcy.
It only happens in the black of night, when the stars glitter and the streets are quiet.
It happens when the music screams with joy and the wheels squeal on asphalt.
It happens when we're driving.