Cross Country

I am in the car.

I am in the backseat of the car.

My Grandma is in the front seat of the car. My Grandma is driving. My Uncle Steve is in the passenger’s seat, and I am in the backseat. I am in the backseat of the car, squished up against the window, and my dad’s head is resting on my outer thigh. My dad’s sweaty head and his sweaty hair. And in his sweaty head his eyes are glazed and cloudy and rolling around wildly. Looking for a friend he would say later.

I am that friend but he doesn’t know it because I don’t look in his eyes because I am scared. Instead, I look at my Grandma and my Uncle in the front seat and they are talking and acting like nothing is wrong. I think I am glad about this. I think I feel relieved. But maybe I don’t.

Every once in a while, my dad’s hands and legs and arms jerk in violent spasms. He has whacked me a couple times now, and I think he probably will again. It’s an accident, an involuntary spasm. And anyway, it doesn’t hurt.