My footprints are on the windshield of your car, from another time, when we listened to a different station, and insisted on a different song. When we argued over verses and opening acts, I took off my shoes, my toes leaving marks, wipes and arcs and pearly beany lyrics. There was a comfort that slipped between us, and when you saw it, you thanked me, your eyes glassy. And I sang, hoping to drown out your smile. Things wouldn’t be serious, they’d be alive. When you’re barefoot, your life feels like living.
The kind of life spoken in facial gestures and curled fingers on knees, touch the only exchange. The steamy windows of your car parade our past; the comfort of our lives lived in feet on the dashboard, when I sang “Killing Me Softly” not so softly. There’s a history on the windows, in stubborn fights, lived in the passenger seat, with tight fists and open mouths, declaring adamant “nevers” and “always” and “don’t interrupt me until I’m finished.”
The way you insisted we kiss when we reached a red light. The way you screamed when you thought I was wrong. The way you grabbed me with a smile, content, on Sunday nights after long vacation weekends. Lived our lives in moments in your car, watching the world as it passed us by, sure, yet still uncertain, that we were a future.
The life of our relationship lived in a car, boiled down to a moment, a radio station, a red light, the leather smell and fast food of a life. Before me there’d have been a tree air freshener and a cassette player, but you’re older now, older than Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight.” You don’t date anymore but move forward with me, even when you throw things into reverse.
And sometimes when I drank too much, I’d look at you for too long, asking if I told you already how much I loved you. Then I’d rush my hand to the nape of you, massaging my want into you. And you’d shrug as if I hadn’t just pawed my want on you. And you’d ignore my declaration. In the moment, you’d turn up the radio, and I’d realize the way I did it to you too, when you complimented me sometimes. I’d thank you, rolling my eyes, or with a passive “thanks.” Words exchanged but not digested, prints on glass, revealed only when the weather turns. And that’s what we were… living our lives, holding onto each other in the inclement weather of our lives.