Drifting

Malcolm Yadack

The memories I have of plain grey highways are exceptional. As they very well should be, because the gasoline for all that driving cost a good sum of money. Imagine for a moment how much you might have saved had you taken no car trips since your sixteenth birthday. That’s twenty bucks at the tank twice a week in ‘99 to fifty bucks once a week now – a big chunk of foregone change. It was worth it. The road is a medium of change between important points in my life. Home for Christmas, my parents are disappointed that I leave them to see friends in another nearby city. And I wave from the car as my mother cries, and process my guilt at this while staring at the dreary Martha Layne Collins Parkway for an hour. This dulls my abrasiveness toward her and I drift with my automobile into a new mood and a fantastic meeting. At the Irish pub that my father was driving home from when he died, men are meeting to remember him. They are meeting me for the first time. The atmosphere was comfortable and exclusive to the world, and a sharp contrast to every event ever in my childhood home. And through this too I drifted. Stories new to me of drugs and jail-time, and carpenters’ nail gun fights. I remind them of their old friend when I shake my head. And I leave. And the road separates this short, breathtaking pause in my life like a punctuation mark separates a writer’s thoughts while still stitching them together.

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