Thursday, November 10, 2011

a short trip

I remember frustrations of the past when I encounter them in the present.

I composed a post for this blog, tried to publish it, and it disappeared into thin air.

It was about family road trips and road trips with friends and fellow-members of the local queer choir (complete with home-made wine, with which Carla the Soprano -- as I thought of her -- baptised me while trying to pour from one narrow-necked bottle into another, over my lap).

Is there ever a trip without a mishap?

But somehow the wrong turns, flat tires, messes and disagreements on a trip mellow out in memory, and become funny stories.

I can hear it now. "Hmm-hmm." Someone is humming tunelessly, creating a weird medley with the 1970s pop song on the car radio. It's my teenage sister Laurie (as I'll call her), pressed beside me in the back seat of the rented British car. My other sister, Carey (so to speak - a precocious 13-year-old) is on my other side. Our parents are smoking in the front seat.

I hope we stop at the site of some gruesome historic event. I need the distraction.

"Don't hum!"

"HMM - MMM - HMMM." Laurie's volume increases. She's dangerous when she's bored.

Within moments, there is a scream-fest in the small, enclosed space. Two pairs of hands are scrabbling at each other over and around me. Our parents are telling me to get my sisters to settle down -- I'm the oldest & the designated peacemaker.

We swerve onto a shoulder of the road. "I can't drive! The noise is getting in front of my eyeballs!" That's dad.

He threatens to keep us parked there until order is restored.

A tense, eerie silence fills the car. We're on the move again.

Someone chews gum, loudly, with her mouth open.

"Oh, gross!"

And so it goes, punctuated by allegedly haunted inns and sites of massacres. It seems that human nature hasn't changed much over the centuries.

As they say, the journey is more important than the destination. I wouldn't have missed it.

4 comments:

  1. Ah, the road trips of childhood!

    I also had two squabbling siblings. I remember a trip we took halfway across the country. The night before, I managed to get a third degree burn on my forearm from the electric fry pan. Every time one of my sibs moved, they bumped into the bandage... (that sort of pain is NOT fun!)

    Someone once said:

    Bad decisions make good stories.

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  2. Put me into the two siblings in the back seat of the car club, but add a dog who paced across us constantly, her thick nails digging into our legs for traction.

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  3. Actually my problem was I used to get car sick when we went on road trips. I got sick so often - this was before dramamine - they didn;t want to bring me.

    Where were all these haunted places? I wonder if they're still haunted. I could use inspiration to write a succubus story. It isn;t cheating if you make it with a ghost is it?

    Garce

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  4. Thanks for all your kind comments! "Crammed in a car with siblings & animals" could be a fruitful topic here.
    Garce, the haunted places were (still are, I assume) in England - and there are reference books on ghostly sightings, parallel to guidebooks on tourist attractions.
    If you're in a committed relationship with a live person & you make it with a succubus (consensually), your Significant Other might consider that cheating. I'm just saying. :)
    Re atmospheric sites of doomed love, Tintagel Castle in Cornwall is worth looking up, though there isn't much castle left - a few crumbling walls & a slippery flight of steps.

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