I am a good driver, my mother told me that. But I hate driving. I don’t want to be responsible for the lives around me like that. They’re all hanging in too delicate a balance. I love being driven though, sitting for hours in a car. Silence, sound. Makes no matter if I’m in good company. Stopping to catch dinner then driving on into the darkness.
I love when the fog rolls in around the wheels, it feels like I’m floating over the earth. Kind of like the ghost I seem to be.
And when the car grinds to a halt at the foot of some wooded mountain I look up, can’t see the top because it’s shrouded in cloud the same way I wear velvet. Imagine if it all came crashing down and squashed me as flat as a crepe, that would make for a short tale indeed.
I can’t decide whether I want to walk, skip or dance. Maybe I’ll just stay in the safety of this metal box with you, recline my passenger seat and stare at the stars through the glass in the ceiling. I tried to count them once, think I got to one thousand and something before my eyes gave out or I fell asleep —I can’t quite remember.
You’re the first to break the silence. I’m relieved, I would have said something silly anyway. But now you have done it, you have opened the floodgates. Grab the grey cable knit throw I threw in the boot last week and get cosy, sweetheart, we could be here for days. Don’t worry, I brought snacks and cigarettes enough to smoke a rabbit out of its burrow. We won’t get bored, can’t get lonely, so it’s safe to say that until our legs numb from our seats and we run out of sea salt and vinegar chips and fags to smoke we’ll be happy in good company.
We tell tales, no bullshit or exaggeration because we’re real like that. We need not false stories because ours are enough. Peacock impressive and perfectly shitty. We’re broken things but we can mend each other, if you wanna. Stitch our souls back up, might accidentally sew yours to mine if you don’t mind. The best part is still coming. The best part is that we will feel every suture needling through our souls while we sew. It’ll hurt and I’ll cry but you’re a man so you swallow the ouch. It’ll break you eventually and then you’ll cry too, into my arms, my skin will soak up your tears like moisture injection.
We fog up the glass before we drive home. It’s not a necessity, it’s a longing. We sing at the top of our lungs and my voice breaks but yours won’t. We make each other cry-laugh, it’s my favourite kind of hysterical fit, can’t stop laughing. Laugh until my stomach aches and my cheeks are covered with run mascara and I literally can’t stop. Sobbing tears of happiness now. Tears of elation now. And you’re laughing along with me, that smile killing me because your teeth are so straight and your lips are so full. I can’t believe we share this dark, twisted humour. For a second I thought I was the only fucked up one. But you’re a gentleman and won’t make fun of me, you’ll make fun of yourself. Old fashioned and quite the charmer, I bet you’ve thrown many women into fits like these and I’m a jealous girl so you won’t tell me about it.
We’ve run out of naughty, fatty food and naughty, toxic poison so you turn the key in the ignition and we humm on outta there. You put on jazz, metal and j-pop. Eclectic taste that keeps me guessing, eclectic taste like mine. It’s probably six a.m. and I’m probably tired in another dimension. But with you I could stay up for days on end, I need to know your life from start to present because I’ll live it from here on out.
I’m a good driver, you tell me, but you don’t make me take the wheel, you were just curious to know how it feels when I’m in control. We are still hours from home and dawn is breaking outside our cocoon. You pull over to watch the sunrise and tell me how beautiful it is and that it’s a miracle the earth turns to share its light but it’s not as great a miracle as our lives connecting. I blush, I’m speechless, you always do this to me. You lay your hand on my thigh, kiss my forehead and pedal to the metal, we’re off again.
It’s well into the morning now and we’re sitting pretty. Almost home but you say you’re hungry and there’s this great little place downtown. You order for the both of us, guessing that I’d like eggs benedict, hold the bacon, with smoked salmon on the side and thinking you could go for French toast blanketed in cinnamon sugar and raspberry coulee. You order us both a coffee, “Vienna please”, that’s where you’re wrong. I’m not a coffee drinker but I’ll take the taste, just for you. You don’t let me take my first bite because last night you told me I’m your princess so you’ll feed it to me then give me some of yours. I say “I’ll pay, split the bill at least, thank you for taking me to breakfast, darling”. You are just too damn good to me, chivalrous to the last drop of lifeblood.
We’ve been awake for I don’t even know how many hours but we’re still buzzing. Energy still high because we’re together. Curb the bend into our driveway and slow to a halt, park out from undercover because it’s raining and you want to feel the water kiss your face and wet our clothes. It’s all an excuse to see me take mine off but I’ll play your game, it’s always fun to be with you. You carry me from the lounge to the bathroom and put me in the bathtub. Somehow it was ready and waiting even though we only got home five minutes ago, or has it been five hours? I can’t tell anymore and times moving no matter the speed. It’s full of bubbles and smells like patchouli, my body sinks below the surface and so does my soul. Complete immersion, blissful, restful, don’t fall asleep now.
You set a stool beside the tub, dangle your feet in with your trousers off and a book in hand. You’ve poured me a glass of Kraken dark rum on the rocks, those funny little metallic ice cubes clink, clink, clink so your drink doesn’t water itself down. You’ve poured yourself something else but in candlelight and without a sip I don’t know what it is. So, you begin reading a novel you love aloud to me and I am instantly taken away. Eyes closed, heart open. Listening to every syllable float around in the air. The water is getting cold and I realise you’ve been reading to me in a language other than my own, I thought I could understand you but I’m simple and only know English. How strange, I could have sworn you were reading about a forest fire, a shipwreck and outer space.
Flick on a movie. Foreign if you want to read more, horror if you want me to press in close. Not really afraid but it’s nice when I pretend. You choose a Ghibli film that we’ve both seen, it’s just as wonderful as the first time I saw it. So many colours painted on the screen and I’m captivated by the story, leaning my face closer to the television set. You’re not watching the movie, you’re watching me. Smile on your face is the only light in our dim bedroom. I’m unaware of your attention but the fly on the wall is memorising your expressive eyes soaking the moment in. I’m not much to look at, freshly washed and wearing nothing but your tee and a pair of lace knickers. My hair is still drip, drip, dripping onto our sheets, my shirt, your body tangled around mine.
The film credits roll, I tell you how I love Hayao Miyazaki. You don’t say anything but you’ve got this glint in your eyes. You tell me how you love me and I cry again. I do an awful lot of crying but you don’t mind. It’s endearing and shows I care is what you tell me. Soft cotton sheets and a thousand cushions surround me in our bed but I don’t feel anything as much as I feel you holding me. We’re still not tired, I think it’s been two days since we slept, so we talk a little more under the covers. You tell me I should be resting, “your body needs sleep!”, you say. You stroke my hair and kiss my neck. Lulling me into unconsciousness with your honeysuckle voice. Let’s sleep a damn long while, when we wake can we go for a drive?