Morning Drive Time


The van is silver, a Town and Country. The windows tinted keeping out the stares of others. Inside the seats are soft plush but somewhat faded by the sun. The back seats are cluttered, a car seat behind the driver’s. The floor, scattered with cookie crumbles, and an orange sippy cup.

I sit behind the wheel. The seat is hard but comfortably fitted to my rear. The steering wheel is rubbed smooth where my thumbs rest. The new key takes a few jiggles to turn in the ignition. But the engine starts strong. I let off the break, and the tires crunch against the pavement. The air-conditioned, stuck on full blast, blows musty and humid. I open the windows.

The odometer nears 200,000 miles, but the out of date safety sticker, from the previous owner, still sticks to the window. The power steering hums, and I pull out of the parking spot. There is the slightest squeak from the axels while things warm up. The smell clears, and I roll up the windows. But it sure drives well.

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