Saturday Snippet #3

“Why are you driving on the wrong side of the road!”  Dad’s voice brayed at me in alarm from the passenger seat.  My ever obedient reflexes snapped my head toward him as my foot released the accelerator.

“It’s a one way street,” I said.  My forearms tightened defensively as I pulled the Jeep’s wheel to make the turn.  Dad strained against his seat belt like a six year old on the verge of a tantrum.

“Bullshit!”  He spat the word at me as if it tasted bad in his mouth.  “There’s no such thing as a one way street.  Why would anyone make a street that you can only go one way on?”

I couldn’t help but gape at my father in shock while the Jeep coasted along the urban road.  When I looked at him I could see my own face, heavily lined with a fern-like spray of gray hair on the crown.  His eyes, diamond chips of anger right now, were the mirror of my own gentler, blue ones.  The thin, wasting skeleton, buried inside the black, wool coat mom and I had bought him for Christmas two years ago, had once been an imposing frame of muscle and radical demands.  This hostile, little man with his quickly emptying memory, was my future.

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