The following Friday night, Benny and I were in my living room watching TV, my mother squeaking her highlighter over the pages of her anatomy textbook, when the sliding glass door flew open.
“Weekend’s here! Who wants to go out for pizza?”
My father rarely entered rooms quietly. He preferred to burst into them as if streamers and balloons followed closely behind.
My father’s car was a 1973 Saab Sonett, a weirdly esoteric limited-edition car. By the early 80s it had acquired a cult status among its owners—and its owners alone—one of those clubs that absolutely no one but its members even remotely give a shit about. His Sonett was a very singular shade of red-orange, three parts ketchup to one mustard, and that, coupled with its peculiar nose-heavy contour, didn’t so much turn the heads as furrow the brows of pedestrians, as if the car’s presence suddenly made people question what country they were in. The point is that my father’s two-seater would never accommodate the four of us––though this isn’t really the point, is it? I’ve gotten so far off point with board games and bank robbers and human anatomy and Star Wars and the body under Poe’s floorboards, a shield I’ve erected to block the thing I’ve been trying so hard not to look at directly this entire time––so he climbed behind the wheel of my mother’s car, a brand new Oldsmobile Delta 88, and she and Benny and I piled in. Gone are the days, I’m afraid, when a plating line manager and his nursing student wife could get a loan for a brand new sedan, gleaming white, with a plush velour interior. As far as I was concerned, it was the stretch limo of a country music star.