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Car Rides at Night

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I went with Nano for a ride to get some food tonight. I’m a little too high and he didn’t sleep well last night so we decided to get some fast-food. We tried a few places but everything was closed. So Nano decided to go to the Jack In The Box across town. I agreed and just decided to lay back and chill. The road we take is a very secluded one. Long stretch with nothing but street lights. Something about watching them pass by with the window down in the summer just reminded me of being a little kid.

I used to go camping a lot when I was little. When we’d drive home, it was always in the evening, and it took us a few hours to get back. Naturally by time we were getting close to home, it’d be dark outside. I remember it so vividly. In the car as my dad drove home after a weekend of hikes and boat fishing. Old 80s rock on the radio and just chilling to the thoughts of what I’m going to do when I get home.

I’m thinking of all the fun I’m going to do with my toys when the trip’s over. If we get home soon enough my favorite show Kablam might still be on. I can’t wait to tune into a repeat of the latest episode while I count my Pokemon cards. Maybe I’ll even bust the dinosaurs out and reenact Land Before Time. Or maybe, if it’s during summer break, I can stay up all night and watch Animal Planet, at least until the infomercials come on. Then I’ll switch to Space Ghost: Coast to Coast while I drift off to sleep on the couch. My dad told me not to, but he doesn’t know I purposefully fell asleep out here. But first, before I can sleep, I gotta close my ears and hum to myself for a little. The intro to Space Ghost really scares me for some reason. Now that it’s over though, I giggle as I start to fade. The host I know nothing about is the last thing I hear before I fall asleep.

A few hours later, my dad is waking me up. We have to take my uncle to the bus stop so he can go to work at the toy factory. When I was younger, he’d pick me up and lay me in the back seat of his truck. I’m older now so I can carry myself, but I’m still too young to stay home, so in the car I go. Again I am treated to the nostalgic site of the street lights passing by as we drive across town to the park-n-ride. The fog outside makes it look like a scene from Silent Hill. It’s all so oddly calming. I almost fall back asleep but I want to stay awake long enough to watch the lights for a little longer. Knowing I’ll have plenty of time to sleep when I get home.

I know it sounds silly, but simple moments like the passing of street lamps in the calm of the night just makes me feel like a little kid again. I’m glad it’s something I still get to experience.

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2 Comments

  • Your writing is always a highlight. It’s funny —stuff like being in a car without AC now seems unpleasant to me, but there is something to stuff you experience as a kid, sometimes even if your childhood wasn’t ideal, that gives you nostalgia/Little feels. As a kid I’d always want to ride upfront in a car. Now, sitting in the back being ignored by whoever is in the front perhaps having a boring conversation with the driver, is heaven. Especially if I’m drawing or gaming. Even just watching out the window. I tend to prefer cheap knockoff versions of certain snacks because even those were a huge treat growing up kinda poor. It just puts me in that mindset. A lot of what you write resonates deeply with my own childhood experiences, it’s just a general “feel” I think due to both of us having spent a lot of time alone and in places that just had an odd aura (I don’t mean in a supernatural way… I think you know what I mean though.)

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