Culture · Perspective

She’s Still In There

originally posted at the unsteady June 6, 2013

i saw my husband’s cousin today, driving her friend and sister to get pizza with her freshly acquired driver’s license. she’s finished with her exams and the other girls just have one more day left of school. they rolled down the window to talk to me and they just looked so, so bright. so beautiful and shiny and bright with the exuberance that is a teenage summer. and i just, i just flashed all the way back.

i have a lot of great summer memories, but honestly, the first summer i had a license and a car is one of the summers that sticks out in my mind the very most.

my car was a black 1996 mercury cougar with leather seats and a moon roof. when i sat down in my cutoff jean shorts, the leather would stick to my thighs. i would open the moon roof, roll down the windows, slide off my flip flops, drive barefoot and listen to this:


a lot of times, i would go hang out with my friends, this group made up mainly of boys.

i just felt so bright. so bright and shiny and beautiful with the exuberance of teenage summer.

sometimes, when i hop in the car to run to mcdonalds or the convenience store all by myself, and the air is warm and sticky, i ignore the empty carseats in the back of my car and i roll down the windows, turn up the radio, kick off my flip flops, and let my thighs taste the leather of my white 2005 ford freestyle and i feel it. i feel that sixteen year old. and i think, what a wonderful thing, to still have her somewhere in there.


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