Mom wants to take a road trip, like we used to when Mitch and me were younger and dad was still alive. I miss the sense of adventure, she says. Mom manages to hold her form to the point where you could see the crow’s feet around her eyes; she’s getting better at remembering her body every day.
I remember being more bored than thrilled on long car rides. Dad was cheap with the air conditioning, even when we crossed through states where it felt like we were swimming more than driving. I won’t wear shorts anymore when I’m driving because of how the backs of my legs stuck to the upholstery. I hate when Mitch drives. He’s like our dad, taking his time to get to wherever it is that we need to go. Mitch deliberately slows us down when he can tell I’m getting pissed.
Can we get a gas tanker truck or something to hold her, Mitch asks.
Mom might eat through the metal, I say.
We could use the body we built for her.
I look at the glass house we have mom living in, her form spread throughout, her color a deep forest green. I wonder if she’s dreaming about rest stops and stale sandwiches and fireflies and sore biceps from all the punches we gave them when we caught a VW bug before she could.
J. Bradley is the author of Greetings from America: Letters from the Trade War (Whiskey Tit Books, 2019). His flash fiction piece, “How to Burn a Bridge Job Aid” was selected for Best Small Fictions 2019. He lives at jbradleywrites.com.