Whenever I drove home, I remembered to have my car spotless. This was hard for me because I lived out of my car — and it was the one place I allowed myself to be messy. But my dad. My dad worried that something deeper was wrong if my car wasn’t in order. To him, a messy car was not a sign of busy-ness or the calling card of someone on the move. To him, a messy car meant a messy mind and a messy mind meant that I was most likely depressed, or anxious, or in over my head. So I always cleaned it up before I went home.
Except one time I forgot. It was my first time home since we found out about the Lyme disease and it was the beginning of the semester and my car was littered with stacks of papers and syllabi and books…and makeup and workout clothes and maybe even the odd pair of shoes.