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Full Speed Ahead Mr. Barker!

In the town where I was born, lived a man who sailed to sea…

Lemon colored hair whipped through the wind as I crooned softly, timidly.

Neil, peering at the open freeway in front of him, analytical, always. Faint sounds of Lennon McCartney billowing from the radio. I loved him - uncombed salt and pepper strands, silver spectacles perched on his large bumpy nose protruding from his rough face, much like mine. His unkempt yet so lovable backwards t-shirts and inside-out sweaters. Even his dungarees straight from his hippie years, a fading light blue wash, his all-time favorite color. A juxtaposition to Jan. Cropped red locks, turquoise eyes, like mine. Tiny figure, tenacity, benevolence ,creativity, brains. She always had something new and inventive - job, soulful singer, creative endeavor. Cackle of a witch, grin of an archangel.
I was three, an old soul, still spry. I awaited, anxiously for these car rides alone with my father. He was a protector, a shield of gimmicks and lessons alike. I could not see the passed the outrageous prancing and childish mockery. I could not see into the vortex of self-destruction and irresponsibility, depression, despair. Traits I would adopt, exactly eleven years and nine months later. For the moment, everything was coming up roses.

“It’s our song!” He rapidly spun the volume dial, as Yellow Submarine blasted out his decrepit charcoal Saab.

“C’mon hon! That’s it, dance like there is no tomorrow!”

Lemon colored hair whipped through the wind as I grooved ludicrously in the passengers seat.
We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine…

We knew very single word, even the garbled boat lingo. I felt safe, even when he took his hands off the wheel to shimmy with his daughter, I felt secure, with the most insecure human in the Los Angeles area.

Maybe it was internal, the feeling of letting go, losing inhibitions... exhilaration. The feeling of flight, wanting to blast through the sunroof and into the bright blue oblivion. Maybe it was him. The laughter, the frivolity, the innocence. I never saw him anxious or violent in the old days. Sometimes I wish he would beam, ear to ear, just like the those days. I miss the days of backseat bopping and the British Invasion. I miss the days of carefree living and trouble-free Sunday afternoons. Maybe I’ve just grow-up. Maybe he has.

Lemon colored hair whipped through the wind as I savored the sublime Sunday drives.
We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine…





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