It is hot. And sunny. With that clear deep blue California sky that makes your eyes hurt from both the brightness and the beauty. The overhead passes make the bright lights flash dark, bright, dark, bright alternately and seemingly forever. It feels like I am flying and perhaps I am dreaming of flying off the first chance I can get. I imagine that, some day I think.
I throw my thin childish arm across my eyes. My head hurts both from the bright light and uncomfortable contorted position I am in. I am feeling like I am in a glass cage. I peak around my arm - I see the sky and the lines on the window. I know deep down that even 20 plus years from now I will be able to trace in my mind's eye the defrost pattern of the glass window on the RX7. I feel hateful. And angry. I am crammed in like luggage in an overhead compartment. I dig my finger nails into the blackish carpet. I pull, hard. I want to tear that little space to shreds but I control my anger in degrees. I always just look up because looking to my left will enrage me further still.
My mother. Her "friend". My hate will only grow and I am stuck in the back of a glass shell with no where to go but the way they want me to go. Their windows are open and the air changes in turn as the miles creep past. The smell goes from highway to stinging ocean salt air. The light becomes dapple with eucalyptus trees and that adds to the smell. My stomach rolls a little as we make the sweeping turns on the highway on our way to the ocean.
We brake suddenly, as always, I further dig my hands into the carpet on one side and the plastic of the tiny storage bins on the other. I roll a little. I brace myself to accelerate again. I wish I were anywhere but there. They are talking but I am benign to that conversation. Even to this day I cannot recall what they talked about when I was present. I only remember the smells, the feeling of the car, the heat, the anger at being stuck there, with them.
I am hungry. Always hungry and even thirsty. I do not want to complain because complaints would draw attention. They would look at me with expectations but also deeper still resentment, that I am there, ruining their moments together. We drive to the familiar parking lot of the beach that we frequented. The one we went to "before". Before when we were a "normal" family. When we all seemed happier but that must have been wrong. I must has been too young to remember correctly. I do not want this to be my "new" family.
I hate the woman sitting in the passenger seat. I do not want anything from her, I want her to be gone but in my deepest of hearts, I also know she controls my mother. She makes my mother calm and keeps her off my case. I hate her for that. That she wants to help me, to be my friend and I just want to tell them to take a leap, to fuck off. The car engine stops.
I try to prepare. I just want to stay in my glass case and hide under my arm but I know they will not let me. I am like a puppy on a leash - I must follow them wherever they go. I hear the trunk click open on the glass lid. My mom walks around the car and lifts it open, keys jingling. I blink as the trunk opens and look up at the sky.
I pulled myself up and out. My muscles are sore. My neck hurts, I have the beginnings of a headache. I squint into the distance at the roiling greenish blue ocean with the waves rushing in and out. I take a deep breath of salty green air. This place I love, my company I do not. I wonder if I will ever be able to escape from it all. I walk forward into the sky, the ocean, the sand wordlessly and hope it will one day get better.