Coming around Richmond the asphalt sings harmony to the tires, which is a good thing considering thirty minutes ago we sat in a red light parade at rest. Some band plays a song I never heard through the car speakers, part of the Must hear Song compilation put out by SPIN magazine. There are a few I will keep ready.
A roadside billboard announces a fourteen minute wait time at the emergency room. Good to know, just in case. It is the same as the last time we came through and there is something to be said for consistency.
It has stopped raining, but the sky is still grey behind the buildings. Brick is my favorite urban color, except the artwork under the bridges. I was actually disappointed when the light turned green at the on ramp after the last bathroom break, it was like visiting an art museum on our left. Someone always has something to say. We choose to hear it.
We are at the point of the trip where silence is a warm blanket on our laps and after a few days at the beach we are ready to be home and feel Berber carpet on bare feet and boys await. I miss the smell of their hair. Two hours. Two more hours.
A third layer of music joins, my cell phone and I fish my pocket and open the line without looking to see who it is. Not that I screen calls. Not yours at least. I must have been busy the last time you tried. This is not you though, but an old boss I have not talked to in years.
We check in on each others kids, how they have grown, what they are into, each realizing we are older than we once were without saying it. Talk moves to shop next, no they did not get bought out, the name change is a marketing thing. Business, as usual.
Did you need anything? Not really, I just thought of you today and gave you a call. That warm feeling begins in the base of my spine and we disconnect with promises not to let it go so long. One hour and forty-five minutes to go.
Her hand finds my thigh and we exchange smiles and even though we have a ways to go, it feels a lot closer to home.
written for Imperfect Prose.