I had a beautiful girl in my car the other night, and I could’ve driven like that — forever!
‘Cause here is the thing: I like it when people ask me for help. Nope, scratch that: I like it when MY people ask me for help. Because just like me, my people are self-sufficient and competent; so proud, so beautiful — quite the badasses of the human race! — and they act as if they’re permanently alright. The fact that youth and ambition is still on our side makes that last illusion believable. We still have that strut of the young, their health, endurance and strength; so even if life serves us up some uncertainty, we lap it up like a juicy, slightly sandy oyster:
Some of my people — blossom in uncertainty. They are the most fearless of the bunch, dwelling in a higher dimension, yet mercifully extending their hand from up there when I am ready to expand yet again, to grow. But even if I’m not ready — it’s alright, they reassure me. Really: It is! Go at your own pace and don’t try to become anyone else but yourself. Because there are enough lies in life, so you better be in control of your own fiction.
For others, uncertainty may set off some emotional white noises: doubt, lack of confidence, and very rarely, a sliver of self-pity. And I get it: I ain’t judgin’! Because my people have had an earful of my own bullshit, yet they have loved — and even worshiped — me despite of it. So, they bitch and moan for a lil’ bit; and we all go to sleep, eventually, tangled up in each other’s limbs. Early in the morning though, I wake up next to empty pillows with imprints of their beloved heads — and they will already be onto the next thing: Gone. To the next, higher dimension! They are so self-sufficient and proud, permanently alright; forever beautiful. Such — are my people!
So, when under the influence of an impulse, one of them suddenly turns and says:
“Hey, V? Can you give me a lift?”
“FUCK YEAH!” I go. “I thought you’d never ask.”
And so, they get in.
I don’t often get passengers: It is the style of this city to be more solitary in larger spaces. The larger the space — the more solitary you find yourself. Yet, we demand space around here, get blue in the face when we don’t get it; and Shiva forbid a boundary gets crossed — we foam at our mouths, outraged at such a crime! But the geography is large enough to accommodate us all (us, our egos, what we think we deserve or have been robbed of — and all that personal space!).
Most, however, are still solitary when driving: So solitary they forget that the rest of us can see them through the bubbles of their glass walls. As if invisible, they insist on negotiating with ambiguous gestures: honking or revving up the engine, or flipping their version of a “fuck you” once they are at a safe distance apart from their often unknowing offender. And it would all be quite funny, if it weren’t so dangerous. Because that’s how isolation is — dangerous. And sad.
And so, they get in — my people — taking over my space. Willingly, breathlessly, I surrender: I always have too much of it — this fucking space, in this fucking city! My people get in, buckle up, adjust their seats.
My boys are always taller than me. They need more room for those athletic legs I would rather be wearing around my belt line. So, they shift back and around, get comfortable and buzzy with excitement, like 5-year-olds after a camping trip. They start opening my compartments and examining into my corners. And if they ask me too many questions, I laugh and kiss them — on those tense foreheads, or directly on their dry lips. I dig out my car’s never-studied manual and thump it against their athletic legs:
“Here is a bedtime story for you! Happy?”
While the girls — those lovely kittens that smell like lavender and honey — they curl up, with their feet tucked under; some even recline and attempt to go to sleep. Others, the more statuesque or the ones who are freer in their bodies, stretch out, putting their prettily pedicured toes onto my dashboard, and they roll down their windows. And, oh, how I love when they take their hair down, releasing more lavender and honey into the air! And it flips and flies around in the wind, like a firebird flapping its magical wings.
So, when the beautiful girl of the other night had climbed inside, I was immediately breathless with attention. She smelled like a drawer of essential oils and exotic spices. Being one of those brown types — blunt and beautiful, so strong! — her sex tempted me with myths from a very foreign continent. Because where she came from, women — survive. They are capable. Capable of carrying their men on their backs, across deserts and blistering rocks. Capable of surviving wars, to live and tell the horrors with their skin. Capable of outrunning, outdoing, outhunting, outsmarting. And when they happen to surrender under their men’s care, they merely humor the rules written centuries before them.
And so, she got in: adjusted her seat, paid a compliment to my space. (Take it: All this fucking space, in this fucking city!) Readily, she began laughing at my flippancy and temper; sighing when finding me poetic or poignant. A couple of times, she sharply exhaled at my mercurial driving habits.
“Ow! I didn’t realize we’d be doing this!” she chuckled in that teasing manner that only women from her very foreign continent can do.
So, I started a joke: Three minutes or five blocks before each turn, I would shoot her a gaze habitual for the women of my own foreign continent and say:
“So… Um, we’ll be making a right turn — eventually. Get ready!”
And she would laugh. Oh, how she would laugh, suddenly getting lighter from having to carry her man on her back, across deserts and blistering rocks; from having to survive! She would tease me, so quick with her comebacks; and not even know that, in that hour, I too was asking for help.
“So… Um, we’ll be making a left — eventually. Are you ready?”
That night, we didn’t need to tell the tales of each other’s suffering.
We could’ve just driven like that, forever: self-sufficient and competent — so proud, so beautiful, so strong! — and permanently alright.