text by Shristi Jaiswal
photography by Theo Gosselin
Its eleven pm and the freeways are washed in hues of orange, staining from the street lights flickering under the slow nightfall.
You turn on the stereo and I pull the windows down, resting my arm, flicking off my burning cigarette onto the dusty pavement, just barely alive. A static noise strikes the air and soon the music floods into the car, reminding me of simpler times when all I had to think about was school, homework and keep up with what’s new in town? I tap my fingers over the steering wheel as you pull back your seat, your feet over my dashboard, singing along religiously with your eyes closed to the world.
“I wish we had more time, why did I ever wanna grow up?”
Your voice blatantly out of tune but the fact that you never cared was really all that mattered. I bite my lip and suppress a grin, don’t want to jinx it now do I? Instead I wrap your flannel tighter around, losing myself as the smell of your cologne overwhelms my senses.
I rest my head back, watching the blinding lights of the passing cars flash by. Green, yellow, red and white all blurred together like bits of broken glasses in a kaleidoscope pulled together. We stop at red lights and every time without fail, you lean in kissing my cheek, sometimes my neck, smiling against my lips.
It’s ecstatic and God, do I feel my ears burning or feel the butterflies dancing in my belly.
Ten miles past L.A and the roads start to clear. With just enough cash to last one summer, ready to run through open roads, stay in crappy motels and having suspicious neighbours. We leave behind the familiar and drive to the unknown.
I pull the top down and you laugh as I’ve suddenly caught you off guard. My hair tangles all at once and I put my right hand up in air. The cool breeze caresses my fingers like slipping silk as you stand screaming my name and yours against the unforgiving wind.
I don’t know this feeling. It’s new and I’ve never felt this before. Like butter melting on warm toast or a hot shower in December, its warmth that I feel. I feel calm yet elated like I everything I need, I’ll find in all the roads coming ahead.
You sit back inside, your voice hoarse from screaming so loud. Your face is red and your hairs in all mess; still you smile your crooked smile and lean in, yet again. You are an old school at heart and I love everything vintage. Honestly it’s a blurry line separating adulation and obsession.
My head remains in the clouds as I drive off further at forty miles per hour. The destination is far and I hope it remains that way for quite some time. I don’t know the home I’ll find at the end of the road but it feels so familiar in these car seats with you, me and a stereo full of old school songs. It’s funny because we’ve been on the road for only three hours but you know what they say; sometimes you can fit forever only in a second if not more.