The history of my life can be counted in cars.
In Boston, we had no car.
But then we moved and there was a series of nice and not-so-nice cars in my childhood that all get twisted, and crushed, and melted down in my memory.
And then came the cars of my early adolescence — the cars that took me to junior high and the first couple years of high school and fell, mostly, in the not-so-nice category.
You see, when I was in junior high my dad quit his job as a corporate attorney at a big firm in Atlanta to start a desktop publishing company called Interstate America. It went well for a while.
Until the recession hit and the business started to fail and a company from Japan bought him out. I don’t know how long my dad was out of work. Maybe six months. I only found this out later, because every morning he dressed for work, left the house at the normal time, and went to the McDonald’s up the street until we were all at school.
And then we moved to Greenville in a beat up, inherited Chevy Impala so he could take a job with the Wyche Law Firm. When I say we I mean my dad and me — our Atlanta house hadn’t sold yet, so my dad and I moved and stayed with friends while my mom and brothers and sisters stayed behind. (On the day I moved, the Atlanta Journal Constitution headline read: “Emily Heads to the Carolinas” and I felt glad they noticed.)