Tinted Windows

February 11, 2008
By Casey Henderson, Ste. Genevieve, MO

I slide into the car. The leather seats creak but I don’t notice anymore. I usually exclaim that the cab echoes, but I don’t exclaim today. Today I’m ready to just be.
I look over to you and smile. You were looking meditatively upon the steering wheel and gauges before you. You catch my smile and return it generously. I look forward, ready for the car to reverse and drive out of my work’s parking lot. We’d leave my car here for now and enjoy the day while it lasted.
I come back to the present as I hear a noise; I look up to see the sunroof opening, letting the sunshine fill the air inside and light the darkness kept by your newly tinted windows. You car is your indulgence and I grin at the pure joy that elates your features when you rev the engine.
The sunshine highlights your hair and casts your features into relief. I give direction only once; you’re beginning to know your way around my town. We cruise through the small town roads, history and lives pulsating through the tinted windows. I gasp and lean my face up to the sun as we take a turn and the light finally falls upon me. My face quickly heats up and I hope you’re watching the road and not my livid face, alive again like a blossom into bloom beneath the fickle winter sun.
The park is familiar to us. We came here the first day you traveled down to see me. Our unofficial parking spot is vacant and we halt. You roll down your tinted windows and let the wind course through, sharpening our sense and perception of the world by awaking us from the semi-sleep dream the sun cast us into. Unable and unwilling to be fully rid of the dream, we sit and practice lines; I need all the help I can get for the drama department’s play next month. You read all the dialogue except for mine with a mischievous skill. You coach me through the first three scenes; you’d long since rolled your tinted windows up, finding the breeze a bit too brisk for your liking. I pull my hood over my head and eyes, first against the wind then against the distraction that is you.
The vacant park listens to our muffled laughter, glad to hear happiness and life again. Too often steps daily trod with no dance to their feet, no liveliness to quicken slowed heartbeats. Moments are fleeting and lives just as brief, but no matter what happens in the future, be it to the world, to the country, to our towns or to us, we’ll always have the afternoon sitting in the park in your car with the tinted windows.

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