We all used to sit in the backseat of the car with no seatbelts, sometimes as many as six kids back there in the summer. I liked to get in the way back bucket seat and lie on my back with my legs hanging into the second row. Looking up I could see glittery trees turn to blue-sky, turn to glittery trees turn to stoplight hanging on a wire. It was like a slow motion strobe. How did anyone drive with so many kids in the car: screaming, pinching, crying, sometimes as many as three little arms out the window on one side catching waves of air. I liked the back bucket seat even long after I was too big because at least it felt calm back there. Occasionally all the kid’s voices would get quiet and I could feel hands tickling towards my shin where someone would try to pull out a tiny hair. Usually this was relaxing, soft little hands doing a spider walk, not strong enough to hurt me, but a couple times my leg would jerk and connect with someone’s upper lip and then all hell broke loose. I know it didn’t happen this way but in those times when everyone was blaming, arguing, bleeding, I have in my memory that the car swerved in S shaped swoops, sometimes leaning on the side with two wheels in the air, such was the loud screaming commotion. I remember once my Uncle Dylan turned the radio up to full scratchy volume and this song was playing.
At the time there was so much rage in that one small gesture that he may as well have slapped me across the face; I instantly felt ashamed, completely to blame and totally confused. He divorced my aunt not long after that and it wasn’t until many years later that I realized his blasting of the song had nothing to do with us at all.