Laura wore jeans shorts and a light green sleeveless shirt. She smiled while she climbed into the car. She gave me a kiss on the cheek when the engine started. I think that was the last kiss she ever gave me.
We had planned our trip for several weeks. The trip of all trips.
You won’t understand this if you’ve never been to a desert or a remote mountain. The sky, for most of us, is just a black or blue-ish carpet with a few white spots. But if you ever spend a night in the desert, away from all the “light smog” of the cities and cars and street lamps and even the petrol stations – then you know what the sky looks like: A beautiful pattern of white and yellow and even pink dots, uncountably many of them, spread in waves and patterns on an ocean of deep blue.
I screamed a “Yee-ha!” when we finally left the road. The landscape around us was already dry and beige, but there were still dots of green and the occasional red or yellow. The vehicle stumbled over heaps of hard and dry sand, further and further into the dead countryside; between carcasses of old cactuses and nothing but stones. Continue reading →
My parents gave me the car on the 8th of March. My birthday. I remember running my hand around the car. When I finally grabbed the door handle I felt the silky touch of a spiderweb on my fingers. That day I just threw it out.
The red color was partially peeling off, there was a crack in the back window and dents on all four sides. But it drove and on the inside the car looked well maintained. My parents had even asked a mechanic to check it out – he changed the oil and then sent them on their way. On the way to me.
Of course there was an agenda that came with the car. It was a sign that I was old enough, that I had to take care of something and organize my own life. It was an aid – a chance to find work outside our suburb.
That night I took Catriona for a ride. That night, sitting in the car with burgers and softdrinks stored between our legs, we had our first kiss.
She had to be home by 11. I dropped her off and brought the car home. It was freezing when I finally slammed the door shut and hushed inside. Continue reading →