When I was in high school, my mom got a gray Lincoln Town car. Driving it down our narrow, twisty small town roads was like trying to navigate an aircraft carrier. I remember the front hood seeming to stretch out forever, forcing me to strain my neck just to see the road in front of me.
It had a tape deck always playing one of my mom’s cassette singles. En Vogue’s “Hold On.” Prince’s Batman movie theme song.
One morning, home from college and working at Camelot Music in Oxmoor Mall, I had to take my siblings to school. All three were still in grade school, and I was pissed I had to take them on my way to work versus my mom taking them on hers.
I loaded my two little sisters and brother into my Mazda 626 and threw it in reverse, backing out of our driveway and down the side of that Lincoln.
“What was that?” my sister asked.
“Nothing!” I yelled.
“I think you hit mom’s car,” she said.
I don’t know what I said after that, but my money’s on “Shut-up.” I do know I kept going, down our street, to their school, and then my job.
I called my mom from the payphone in the middle of the mall that morning – because it was 1992, and nobody had cell phones, and I couldn’t use the music store phone for personal calls.
In her rush to get out the door, she had missed the gigantic dent I carved into the passenger side of her Lincoln. When I called her at work, she put me on hold to go look at the damage.
It was 9:00 a.m. I stood in the middle of a mostly dead mall, holding the payphone receiver to my ear with no one on the other end.